Cross Examination: Faith and Belief

Many of the disagreements that have arisen in the course of this Cross Examination series have come up either due to a lack of definition, or because of a difference in definition.  For example, the difference between “absolute omnipotence” and “essential omnipotence” led some to make the statement that “God cannot be both omnipotent and omniscient,” a claim which I wrote about in a previous post.

belief

Two definitions that I’ve been thinking about recently, in relation to several different conversations in which I’ve been involved on this site, have been definitions of faith and belief.  Two questions that are related to these definitions could be, “What is faith?” and “What is belief?”

What is Faith?

Several times on this site, faith has been referred to, in a derisive sense.  Usually, the comment goes like this: “Oh, they’ll [Christians] just come back and say, ‘That’s something you just have to take on faith,’ or ‘That’s just part of the mystery of God that you have to take on faith.’”  In other words, the evidence doesn’t support a claim; therefore you have to take it by faith. 

I think I’ve come to a good definition of faith: faith is the difference between belief and the evidence.  This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.  If you believe something that goes against the evidence, then faith can be nonsense.  If you have faith in something that could be true, but for which there is not yet enough evidence, then your faith isn’t a bad thing.

faith

Let me give you two examples of faith, one from an atheist perspective, and one from a Christian perspective.

  1. A Christian believes that the theory of evolution is incomplete and inaccurate.  They believe that there is not sufficient evidence to support macro-evolution (i.e. evolution between species), even though there is evidence that micro-evolution happens (i.e. evolution within a species).  Their belief that God created the world in seven days is based somewhat on faith, because the natural evidence so far is inconclusive, and there is a gap between what they believe and what they can prove.
  2. An atheist believes that the universe had no beginning, that it is eternal.  They believe that there is not sufficient evidence to support Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which seems to show that the universe had a beginning, and subscribe to Stephen Hawking’s explanation that there are multiple universes, and they are like bubbles of steam in boiling water.  While there is not yet any evidence for these multiple universes, their belief in the eternality of the universe is something which they take on faith.

What is Belief?

An integral part of my definition of faith includes the word “belief,” which is another word that can have many different meanings.  Here’s a smattering of meanings:

  • An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists
  • Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly-held opinion or conviction
  • A religious conviction
  • Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.

All of these, I think, contribute to the meaning of the word “belief,” but I think that the fourth definition is the most complete/comprehensive.  In essence, beliefs are things that are statements about truth.  When I say, “There is a God,” that is a belief.  I am making a statement about truth.  I am saying that my statement (“There is a God”) is true.  That is belief.

Any statement, if you’re claiming that it is true, is a belief.  Here are other (not Christian) examples of belief:

  • Life does not have objective meaning or purpose (nihilism)
  • No one can truly know if a god really exists (agnosticism)
  • We cannot really assert anything for certain (skepticism)
  • There is no god (atheism)
  • There is no god but Allah, and Muhammed is His messenger (Islam)

Are faith and belief negative things?

Faith and belief are not inherently negative things.  Obviously, each person has a positive perception of their own beliefs, and a negative perception of others’ opposing beliefs, and the things in which they have faith.  For example, if you’ve been reading the comments to many of the posts that I’ve written, you’ll find that many commenters affirm their own faith and beliefs as good, and mine as bad or unthinking.

Furthermore, faith and belief, from a Christian worldview perspective, are immensely positive things.  Christians can make the argument that faith and belief are the default position of each human being, citing that God made us in his image (Genesis 1:27) and with his law on our hearts (Romans 2).

Similarly, from a non-theist worldview, someone could say that agnosticism, or the absence of belief, is the default position of every human being.  If one believes that all beliefs must be proven before they are adopted (and not prior to, as I wrote in an earlier post), and believes that all people are blank slates when they are born (in terms of belief), then they could say that agnosticism is the default position (though this would require them to be non-agnostic in that very statement).

However, one cannot say that the belief that there is no god is the default position, unless they say that we were somehow created with a default set of beliefs, which would go another core atheist belief… that there was no Creator.  I suppose atheists could propose, “The statement, ‘There is no god’ is not a belief, therefore it can be the default position,” but this would involve a re-definition of the word “belief.”

Conclusions

What do I want you to take from this post?  A few things:

  1. We can have faith in any area of our lives, not just in our religion – anything for which we do not have evidence is something in which we place our faith.
  2. Beliefs are not limited to belief in God, or in the absence of God – a belief is any statement or proposition that you assert is true.
  3. Christians can make a case for belief in God being the “default position,” and agnostics can argue for everyone being a blank slate when they’re born, but atheists cannot say that their beliefs are “default.”

Question: Can someone have too much faith?

This post is in my series called “Cross Examination: Is Debunking Christianity Possible?” I’m looking at a myriad of topics in the rational examination of my faith, and will write one post per week for the next year. If you would like to read some of the previous posts in this series, click on the links below:

  • Anonymous

    “An atheist believes that the universe had no beginning, that it is eternal.”

    Really?  I wonder who you could be referring to here in your example.  I don’t recall any of your regular visitors (i.e. atheists) arguing this point on these blogs.  For example, neither boomSLANG nor I assert that the universe had no beginning.  We did state that we don’t know if it had a beginning or not, and that if it did have a beginning, we don’t have sufficient evidence to believe that your God created it.

    BTW, the “default” set of beliefs that living creatures are born with are nothing more than their survival instincts.  After that comes learned behavior… just like you learned about Christianity from others as it was shared with you.  If your parents and local community were all Muslims, my guess is you would have become a Muslim.

    This is interesting:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/3634766/babies-are-born-with-one-thing-an-instinct-to-survive.html

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      Do you deny that there are atheists who believe that the universe had no beginning?

      • Anonymous

        “Do you deny that there are atheists who believe that the universe had no beginning?”

        Some atheists may believe that.  I don’t personally care if some atheists believe the universe had no beginning.  Some people who claim to be Christians believe they have abilities to handle venomous snakes without risk of injury or death.  However, I seriously doubt that you will be handling venomous snakes in your next church service.  As it is boomSLANG is more than you can handle, and he doesn’t even bite…  ;->

        I, for one, don’t know if the universe had a beginning or not.

      • Anonymous

        “Do you deny that there are atheists who believe that the universe had no beginning?”

        Some atheists may believe that.  I don’t personally care if some atheists believe the universe had no beginning.  Some people who claim to be Christians believe they have abilities to handle venomous snakes without risk of injury or death.  However, I seriously doubt that you will be handling venomous snakes in your next church service.  As it is boomSLANG is more than you can handle, and he doesn’t even bite…  ;->

        I, for one, don’t know if the universe had a beginning or not.

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          I cited Stephen Hawking’s theory about the universe. He is a prominent atheist, and a scientist.

          Do you disagree with my definitions of faith and belief, or just with the examples that I give?

          • Anonymous

            “I cited Stephen Hawking’s theory about the universe. He is a prominent atheist, and a scientist.”

            Stephen Hawking does not believe the universe required a Creator.  He clearly expressed those views on a recently aired program on The Discovery Channel.

            http://www.christianpost.com/news/stephen-hawking-questions-the-creator-in-discovery-channel-series-53293/

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Exactly. I cited him in my atheist example. I did not claim that he thought the universe was created.

          • Anonymous

            None of us know if our universe had a true “beginning”.  Maybe the total sum of matter and energy always existed in some form and some (or all) of it was transformed during the “Big Bang”.  I don’t have sufficient evidence to conclude if the universe had a beginning or not, and I certainly do not have sufficient evidence to believe that YHWH created it.

            Aside from this argument, some scientists apparently believe black holes are the starting point for new universes.  Who knows if multiple universes exist.  

            http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/05/new-theory-black-holes-give-birth-to-new-universes-todays-most-popular.html

      • Anonymous

        “Do you deny that there are atheists who believe that the universe had no beginning?”
        No. 

        So?  Now what? You’ll amend your post to say “Some Atheists believe [etc., etc.]” ?

        Using your own descriptions above, once and for all—-do you have a “belief”, “know”, or have “faith” that Yahweh exists? 

        “What do I want you to take from this post?  A few things:

        We can have faith in any area of our lives, not just in our religion – anything for which we do not have evidence is something in which we place our faith.”
        It seems you are conflating “faith” and “trust”. The two are not mutually inclusive. We can lack conclusive “evidence” in something, but still trust  it, without evoking “faith”. I certainly don’t have  conclusive, absolute  evidence that my brakes will stop my car each and every time I use them. But I trust my brakes, based upon a proven track-record. I don’t need “faith”. I put my foot on the brakes without any worry, whatsoever; without any maintenance of the mind; without praying or chanting; with attending any places of worship. The same cannot be said of those who place “faith” in invisible, conscious beings. 

        ” Beliefs are not limited to belief in God, or in the absence of God – a belief is any statement or proposition that you assert is true.”

        I have a belief that the A’s will beat the Mets. Am I asserting that they will? No. IOW, in some cases “belief” is a form of agnosticism…e.g….”Despite that I do not know for certain, I hope that [yadda, yadda]”

        “Christians can make a case for belief in God being the ‘default position’,  and agnostics can argue for everyone being a blank slate when they’re born, but atheists cannot say that their beliefs are ‘default’.”

        Good grief—-where you get this stuff, I have no clue.

         Yes, “Christians” can believe that “God” is the “default position”, until kingdom come.  Just like a 4yr-old child can believe that their stuffed Tigger the Tiger is talking to them. They have that right.  Now, whether the beliefs are true or not, is another story. We do  NOT  assume that all conceivable objects and/or entities *exist* until proven to not exist. That notion is absurd. Lack of belief *is* the default position.  The proposition that an invisible, conscious creator-being has always existed – presumably, the most complicated being in ALL of existence – and that this being created everything using magic, ESP, or if one prefers, “supernature”, is special pleading.

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          “Faith” vs. “trust,” huh?

          Definitions of trust:
          – Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something
          – Acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation
          – A hope or expectation
          – Have faith or confidence

          It seems to me that you’re saying you don’t have faith, but you trust, for the mere purposes of saying that you don’t have faith.

          I have a belief that the A’s will beat the Mets.  Am I asserting that they will?  No.
          You’re making my point further.  Beliefs, as I stated, are statements about truth.  They are assertions.  Since you are not asserting that the A’s will beat the Mets (stating this as truth), it is not a belief, but a hope, as you say.  Thanks for making my point.  It seems that we agree on the definition of belief.

          You have a hope that the A’s will beat the Mets, as you state later.  Beliefs are statements about truth.  Hopes are things that you want to be true, but have no evidence for.  For example, you hope that there is no god. :) 

          • Anonymous

            Definitions of trust:

            – Firm belief in the reliability[…]”

            First entry—“reliability”. Now, how do we know when someone (or something is) reliable? Well, one thing we do is we examine their (or its)  track-record.

            Case-in-point: Brakes have a proven, verifiable track-record for stopping automobiles;  “God” doesn’t have a proven, verifiable track-record for being “God”.

            “It seems to me that you’re saying you don’t have faith, but you trust, for the mere purposes of saying that you don’t have faith.”

            No, I’m saying that I have the latter and don’t need the former, because the latter is more reliable. 

            “Beliefs, as I stated, are statements about truth.  They are assertions.  Since you are not asserting that the A’s will beat the Mets (stating this as truth), it is not a belief, but a hope, as you say.  Thanks for making my point.  It seems that we agree on the definition of belief.”

            So, I can “hope” that one team beats another, but I cannot believe they will,  too? Really? Are you sure about that? Let’s see….

            “You have a hope that the A’s will beat the Mets, as you state later.”

            And as well,  I might believe the A’s will beat the Mets,  depending on the both team’s records e.g…..wins/losses, which I can actually examine.

            “Beliefs are statements about truth.  Hopes are things that you want to be true, but have no evidence for.  For example, you hope that there is no god. :)”

            And you evidently have faith that you know my mind better than I, just as the tobacco industry has faith that smoking won’t kill too many people this year. Best of luck to the both of you.

  • Anonymous

    “Christians can make the argument that faith and belief are the default position of each human being, citing that God made us in his image (Genesis 1:27) and with his law on our hearts (Romans 2).” ~ R. Ewoldt

    Yes, it’s true—-Christians can cite that and believe that and have faith in that, yadda, yadda. However, if Christians attempt to use that as an argument against a non-Christian, that is a fallacy known as begging the question, a type of circular reasoning.

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      Yes, which is why I prefaced it by saying this was from a Christian viewpoint. But really, you can assent to this view if you believe that there is any god, not just the Christian God.

      • Anonymous

        Yet, why call it “an argument” unless you’re using said viewpoint to make a case for Christianity? Surely, if one has a presupposition that it’s true, then he or she doesn’t need to make a case to his or herself, I hope.

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          Was I making a case for agnisticism when I also cited that a similar argument could be made for their viewpoint?

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know. Let’s find out, though.  Do you know that Yahweh exists, or not? 

          • Anonymous

            “Do you know that Yahweh exists, or not?”

            ?

          • Anonymous

            ????????

    • Anonymous

      “Christians can make the argument that faith and belief are the default position of each human being, citing that God made us in his image (Genesis 1:27) and with his law on our hearts (Romans 2).” ~ R. Ewoldt

      Isn’t it remarkable how many people born in Indonesia happen to become Muslims… or how many people born in Tibet happen to become Buddhists… or how many people born in India happen to become Hindus.  Could it be that religion is a LEARNED BEHAVIOUR that comes from being heavily influenced by their parents and local communities where those particular religions are prominent?  It is also interesting how many advanced nations are seeing a rise in secularism and dwindling church attendance.  Could it be that educated people are examining the case for Christianity and other world religions and simply rejecting them based upon the evidence they each have to offer?

      • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

        That’s an interesting assertion, Sid. It sounds like a great topic for a post…

  • Anonymous

    “A Christian believes that the theory of evolution is incomplete and inaccurate.  They believe that there is not sufficient evidence to support macro-evolution (i.e. evolution between species), even though there is evidence that micro-evolution happens (i.e. evolution within a species).” ~ R. Ewoldt

    The whole micro’ vs macro’ is a theist/creationist concoction. There are no hard lines where theists/creationists evidently (and erroneously) believe that there should be.  There are transitional fossils out the kazoo, and Christians would know this if they weren’t only interested in getting their “evolution” info’ from Christian apologetic websites.   

    “[Christians’]  belief that God created the world in seven days is based somewhat on faith, because the natural evidence so far is inconclusive […]”

    Ridiculous. For one thing, Christians can’t even agree whether “day” means 24 hr period, or some other undetermined period.  Secondly, the “natural evidence” is ALWAYS going to be “inconclusive” when the premise is that the 7 day creation was a “super-natural” occurrence.  And yes, this is what creationists propose.   So, where, again, are tests being conducted on special “creation”?

    […] and there is a gap between what they believe and what they can prove.

    A “gap”? That is an understatement.

    Robert Ewoldt, neither you nor your creationist constituents have even scratched the surface when it come to proving that an invisible, conscious creator-being “thought” the universe into existence.(or however “He” did it) At least evolution is testable/falsifiable. Yes, find a French poodle fossil from the Cambrian period, and you will have falsified evolution. Moreover, if Captain Noah and his inbreeding shipmates took two of EVERY animal on board the “Ark”, and all other animal life died in a flood, you’d expect to see mixed fossils of EVERY species in random order in the fossil record. In other words, all jumbled with no order, whatsoever. But lo and behold, that’s not at all what we see, is it? No. What we see is ordered fossils—-simpler species of animals, the deeper we go.

    Again, you fool no one. The writing is on the wall.

    • Anonymous

      “Again, you fool no one. The writing is on the wall.”

      Young Robert is consistent and predictable.

      “What we see is ordered fossils—-simpler species of animals, the deeper we go.”

      I once heard a Christian fundamentalist give an “explanation” of this phenomenon.  When God sent the Great Flood, the simpler organisms drowned first (and were buried deeper in the sediment) whilst the more complex organisms drowned later (and were buried closer to the surface of the Earth), and all those different species of organisms that were not on the Ark died within the timeframe of the Great Flood.  Brilliant!  That sounds like something Krazy Karla would defend.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, it’s problematic…i.e….whatever we discover through the scientific method, creationists/fundamentalists can just come waltzing along and say, “God did it that way!”, and/or, create bloated rationalizations to defend the nonsense they believe and espouse be mounding on more nonsense. Sad, but true. 

        • Anonymous

          We are observing that phenomenon on this very blog.  Young Robert jumps to defend his Christian beliefs every time a challenge is offered.  That is what apologists do.  That is what dragonslayers do.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Sid, it’s no more than what you’re doing; I wouldn’t expect anything less from you. I appreciate each and every one of the atheist apologists that comment on my blog.

          • Anonymous

            “Sid, it’s no more than what you’re doing;”

            I don’t think so.  I don’t believe you were ever open to the possibility that your beliefs are misplaced and that Christianity may be a false religion.  I don’t think you would even consider the possibility of renouncing your faith based upon further examination of the evidence.  You are an apologist in every sense of the word. 

            Robert, it appears that you simply refuse to accept that boomSLANG and I were both true Christians at one time until we further considered the evidence and decided we no longer believed based upon the evidence.  It appears that you do not believe that a true Christian would choose to become an ex-Christian.  Correct me if I am mistaken re. these observations.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            You are mistaken. I fully accept that you and boom were once Christians.
            Also, you are mistaken in your assumption that I am not open to the possibility that Christianity may be a false religion. You take my defense of Christianity for this. I am completely open to arguments against Christianity, as long as they can be defended. If I can come up with a logical counter-argument, in my Christianity-riddled mind, to an argument that you propose, and all that you eventually come back with is, “Ignore him; he’s an apologist for Christianity,” I think perhaps it’s not me that should be rethinking my worldview.

            Having said that, I am methodically working my way through my own worldview, examining each aspect, with the goal of converting my beliefs from pure faith to evidence-based and logic-based beliefs. You are free to give me input when you think that I’m wrong, but you’d better be willing to back your claims up with facts and logic.

          • Anonymous

            “You are free to give me input when you think that I’m wrong, but you’d better be willing to back your claims up with facts and logic.”

            Robert, I enumerated this list of miraculous events that the Bible claims happened.  I would be delighted if you could offer facts and logic as to how any of those Biblical claims could possibly have happened (aside from citing the Bible as the infallible Word of God).  I will be following along with rapt attention:

            1. The Earth and the universe were created within six literal days
            2. A woman was crafted from a man’s rib
            3. A snake, a donkey, and a burning bush spoke human language
            4. The entire Earth was flooded to drown evil people, and 8 humans survived on a boat and repopulated the Earth
            5. Language variations stem from the Tower of Babel 
            6. Moses had a staff that, when raised, divided the Red Sea (or the Sea of Reeds if you like)
            7. The Nile turned to blood 
            8. Pharoah and his charioteers vanished in a body of water that had just been divided for the Hebrews
            9. A stick turned into a snake and back into a stick 
            10. Witches, wizards, and sorcerers with mystical powers really exist 
            11. Samson killed 1,000 men with the jawbone of an ass 
            12. Fire rained down from Heaven and consumed false prophets
            13. Food rained from the sky for 40 years
            14. People were cured by the sight of a brass serpent 
            15. The sun stood still to help Joshua win a battle, and it went backward for King Hezekiah 
            16. Men survived unaided in a fiery furnace without injury
            17. A detached hand floated in the air and wrote on a wall 
            18. Men followed a star which directed them to a particular dwelling
            19. Jesus walked on water unaided 
            20. Fish and bread magically multiplied to feed thousands of hungry folks
            21. Water turned directly into wine 
            22. Mental illness is caused by demons 
            23. A “devil” with wings exists who causes evil
            24. People were healed by stepping into a pool agitated by angels 
            25. A disembodied voiced spoke from the sky 
            26. Jesus vanished and later materialized from thin air 
            27. People were healed by Peter’s shadow 
            28. Angels broke people out of jail 
            29. A fiery lake of eternal torment awaits unbelievers while there is life-after-death in a city which is 1,500 miles cubed, with many rooms, waiting for Christians
            30.  Robert Ewoldt might be joining ex-Christian.net as a member in the near future  (okay, I added this one) ;->

          • Anonymous

            “If I can come up with a logical counter-argument, in my Christianity-riddled mind, to an argument that you propose, and all that you eventually come back with is, “Ignore him; he’s an apologist for Christianity,” I think perhaps it’s not me that should be rethinking my worldview.”

            Christianity is a belief system.  Atheism is not a belief system.  If you profess Christianity to be true and you desire to evangelize others, the burden of proof resides upon your shoulders.  We have carefully considered the evidence you offer for Christianity and we find it insufficient.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Sid, if you think that atheism is not a belief system, you’re fooling yourself.

          • Anonymous

            Theism = belief in one (or more) deity

            Atheism = lack of belief in a deity

            Claiming that atheism is a “belief system” is patently absurd.  There is no codified set of “beliefs” among those who choose not to believe in the existence of a deity. The fact that we choose not to believe in the existence of YWHW does constitute a “system”.  

            One obvious reason comes to mind why some Christians wish to label Atheism as a “belief system”.  If we accept that Atheism is a “belief system”, Christians then READILY point to differences among Atheists re. what they actually do believe, and Christians then READILY claim such Atheists are guilty of unorthodoxy.  That is pure BS, as there is absolutely no codified set of beliefs among Atheists.  

            http://atheism.about.com/b/2007/06/11/atheism-is-not-a-belief-system-does-this-really-need-repeating.htm

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Atheism is not a lack of belief; it is the belief that there is no god.

          • Anonymous

            That is your opinion, Young Robert, and it is patently obvious why apologists like you want to establish that opinion as fact.  Too bad it won’t fly. 

            You are the apologist.  You claim Christianity is the one true religion.  100% of the burden of proof rests with you and your brothers and sisters in Christ who wish to evangelize others.  

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Young Sid, would you say that you disagree with my definition of belief (that I gave in this post) generally, or only in this instance?

          • Anonymous

            I do not accept this statement:

            “There is no god (atheism)”

            You claim to believe YHWH exists, and you have your reasons for embracing that belief.  As for me, I do not find sufficient evidence to believe YHWH exists.  I never said that YHWH does not exist, because I do not KNOW that YHWH does not exist…  and that lack of belief in YHWH on my part most certainly does not constitute a “belief system”.  No dice. 

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            So, you’re not really an atheist… You say that you don’t know that YHWH doesn’t exist; you also say that there’s not enough evidence to say that YHWH does exist. Is there enough evidence, in your mind, to say that any god exists? Maybe in a deistic sense? Perhaps a non-personal god?

          • Anonymous

            “You say that you don’t know that YHWH doesn’t exist”

            Correct.

            “you also say that there’s not enough evidence to say that YHWH does exist”

            No.  I said that I do not have sufficient evidence for me to believe that YHWH exists.  I am not speaking for anyone else but me.  

            I don’t know if a deity (in some form) exists or not.  Stephen Hawking doesn’t believe a deity was necessary for the universe to (and life) to exist.  

          • Anonymous

            “Atheism is not a lack of belief; it is the belief that there is no god.” ~ R. Ewoldt

            Let’s back up. When I debate you/discuss with you on this blog, you insist that I must accept YOUR rendering of Christianity, as you understand it; as it applies to Robert Ewoldt. Welp, what’s sauce for goose is sauce for the gander..i.e..you must therefore accept my rendering of Atheism, as it applies to Me, which, for the bazillionth time, is as follows:

            I am NOT saying that a generic, incomprehensible, unknowable, invisible Supreme being does. not. exist. I am saying that I do not have a belief that one such being does exist. In contrast – and to underscore my initial point yet one more time – if I believed the statement, “God does not exist!”, that would, yes,  constitute a belief. Yet, I would hope that any educated reader can see the stark difference between the two positions. I cannot make it any clearer.

             As for the Christian biblegod, “Yahweh” and his supposed offspring, “Jesus””, aka, “Christ”, as explained by Christians and their hand-book, “the Bible”, I am as certain that no such being exists as I am that “square circles”  don’t exist. Please stick this in your memory bank for future reference. Thx.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Do you call yourself an atheist? If so, you can define “your rendering of Atheism,” to a certain extent (as explained below). If you don’t call yourself an atheist, then we can agree on a definition of atheism, but your “good for the goose, good for the gander” analogy is not correct.

            If I recall correctly, you earlier called yourself an Agnostic Atheist. Would that be a more correct way to describe you? This would make more sense than calling yourself an atheist, and then saying you have no beliefs.
            What you’re saying is kind of like me saying, “I’m a Christian, but I don’t really believe that Jesus was the Son of God. And I don’t believe that the Bible is necessarily the Word of God. Or that God created the universe.” If I said such things, then someone could accurately say, “You are not a Christian.” Just calling myself a “Christian” doesn’t mean that I can define Christianity in any way that I please.

          • Anonymous

            ***This comment has been deleted by the moderator because of direct attacks and bad language.***

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            boom, I don’t mind attacks, but really???  If you’d like to reply again, and tone down your language, feel free.

          • Anonymous

            I’ll happily retract anything I say that isn’t true.

            Previously, you said…….

             “This would make more sense than calling yourself an atheist, and then saying you HAVE NO BELIEFS“. [bold and caps added]

            Okay, I apologize for calling you a “jacka$$”. It isn’t true; you’re not stupid, but you are dishonest, and your constant dishonesty is dull, in which case, that fits “insipid” to a tee. “Insipid”, stands; “jacka$$” is retracted and replaced with dishonest.

          • Anonymous

            “It isn’t true; you’re not stupid, but you are dishonest, and your constant dishonesty is dull…”

            I have the same general impression.  Robert is an apologist and an evangelist and a dragon slayer, and I believe this series of articles is a charade.  Robert has not demonstrated one scintilla of willingness to bend re. his belief system even though its foundations appear to me to be lacking in logic and evidence, and it embraces many claims that appear… highly improbable (see list of miracles I posted on this thread).  

          • Anonymous

            “Sid, if you think that atheism is not a belief system, you’re fooling yourself.” R. Ewoldt

            And if you think that the corollary that you so desperately wish to be true..i.e…”Atheism is a BELIEF SYSTEM, too!!!!” makes mine and Sid’s position any weaker and/or your position any stronger, then you’ve a got a big, fat NON-sequitur on your hands. Fine,  “Atheism is belief system…neener, neener, neener!!!!”. Okay? And? …so-the-%$#&-what?!  You are the one claiming that an invisible, conscious, creator-being exists and takes up residence in your cardiovascular organ. It is not the Atheist’ burden to supply sufficient EVIDENCE that your outrageous claims aren’t true. No, it is your burden to supply sufficient evidence that YOUR claims are true.  You should be able to understand this, because I’ll wager that you understand that, similarly, it is not your or my burden to provide sufficient evidence that ET’s don’t visit earth. No. The people who CLAIM that this is happening have the burden of supplying you and me with sufficient evidence that this is happening. ‘Get it?

            Your definition of “belief” doesn’t change or weaken the Atheist position one iota.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            boom, I understand what you’re saying. You don’t need to be defensive. I’m not trying to disprove atheism, and my definitions of belief and faith are not evidence against atheism or any other belief.

            It’s interesting that you continually bring up ETs and other straw men to support your assertions.

          • Anonymous

            “It’s interesting that you continually bring up ETs and other straw men to support your assertions.”

            It’s interesting that you see a simple analogy as a “strawman”.

            Let’s see, Christians believe in “Jesus”, right? Right. UFologists believe in ET’s, right? Right. The latter is NOT a caricature of the former. The fact that you likely view the latter as an outlandish claim and the fact that I see BOTH as outlandish, doesn’t make my analogy a “strawman”. Perhaps brush up on your fallacies?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Description of Straw Man
            The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of “reasoning” has the following pattern:
            1. Person A has position X.
            2. Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X). 3. Person B attacks position Y.
            4. Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

            Similarly,

            1. Person A has position X (Christianity).
            2. Person B presents position Y (UFology).
            3. Person B attacks position Y (UFology is stupid and has no evidence). 4. Therefore X (Christianity) is false/incorrect/flawed.

            Hmmm….

          • Anonymous

            “Similarly,

            1. Person A has position X (Christianity).
            2. Person B presents position Y (UFology).
            3. Person B attacks position Y (UFology is stupid and has no evidence).
            4. Therefore X (Christianity) is false/incorrect/flawed.

            Hmmm….”

            “Hmmm”, my a$$. Find where I said, “UFology is stupid”. I’ll wager that you cannot.

             So? 

            What’s this?…you can’t find it, can you? No, you cannot. Why? because I didn’t say that, and lo and behold, YOU have used a strawman in an attempt to lecture me on the fallacy. The irony. It stings!

            In any case, I used UFology to make a rhetorical point: You have a double-standard when it comes to the burden of proof.  Yes.  We don’t let Ufologists demand evidence from us that their claims are false. Yet, you somehow want evidence from atheists that YOUR claims are false. THAT was the point of the analogy. It is your burden to supply sufficient evidence that YOUR claims are true. No “strawman”; just fact.

          • O!

            “Sid, if you think that atheism is not a belief system, you’re fooling yourself.” R. Ewoldt

            Riggggght….and NOT stamp collecting is a hobby.

            Christians just don’t get it. They have some force field around their noggin that doesn’t let logic penetrate their mind.

            If you could reason with Christians – there’d be NO Christianity.

            Don’t start lecturing boomslang on logical debate. From where I’m sitting, he has dedicated his life and mastered everything in the art of logical arguments. It is painfully clear; you are a novice – where you go pecking around the internet to come up with smart sounding phrases like “strawman” which you really don’t have a handle on and you throw it into the conversation – all willy-nilly.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Thanks for your comment, O.

          • Anonymous

            “I’m not trying to disprove atheism” ~ R. Ewoldt

            Oooooo,  now that’s a relief to know, since, well, you CAN’T disprove that people lack belief in “God”! Yes, you can DISPROVE those who say, “God doesn’t exist!!!”, by simply providing some objective evidence that it is so. ‘Got any?

          • Anonymous

            I am still waiting for the objective evidence re. the list of miracles I listed earlier in this thread.  I particularly want to know how Hezekiah’s request to move the sun backward was fulfilled.  That one is a doozy.

          • Anonymous

            Do you, or do you not, agree with the following…..

            […] it is not your or my burden to provide sufficient evidence that ET’s don’t visit earth. No. The people who CLAIM that this is happening have the burden of supplying you and me with sufficient evidence that this is happening.

            A yes or no will suffice.

          • Anonymous

            Waiting…yes or no, please.

          • Anonymous

            ??

          • Anonymous

            This is prime example of what I mean when I say the tough questions get ignored. 

            Perhaps some other lurking Christian would like to address my question? Anyone?

            If you are a professing, bible-believing Christian, do you agree with the following:

            It is not your or my burden to provide sufficient evidence that ET’s don’t visit earth. No. The people who CLAIM that this is happening have the burden of supplying you and me with sufficient evidence that this is happening.

            Well? True or false?

            And BTW,  no, this isn’t a “strawman” argument. Again, it is an analogy that makes a rhetorical point: If you agree that those who make the claim that Earth is being visited by ETs have the burden of proving said claim and that it is NOT your burden to disprove it, then you should be able to fully understand  when I say that I needn’t “disprove” the claim that an invisible, conscious, creator-being made the universe and currently resides over it. That is YOUR claim, and thus, your burden to prove. Again, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            boom, this is NOT a tough question, and I’ve already answered the question about burden of proof before.

            However, I would like to press you on this issue. You say that anyone with a claim should have to prove it, right?

            The Christians claim that God exists; therefore, they should have to prove it.
            The UFologists claim that extraterrestrials visit earth; therefore, they should have to prove it.

            Is this right? Is this your argument?

          • Anonymous

            Why should I give you a direct answer to your question when you refuse to do the same?  Tell ya what, you answer my question, directly, with a “true” or “false”, and I’ll then answer yours.
             
            It is not your or my(Robert’s or boomslang’s) burden to provide sufficient evidence that ET’s don’t visit earth. No. The people who CLAIM that this is happening have the burden of supplying you and me with sufficient evidence that this is happening.

            Assuming that you don’t believe that space-travelers are visiting earth,  is the above, true or false? A one-word answer will suffice.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            In debate, the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim.  I agree with you in this statement.

            Now, what of your answer?

          • Anonymous

            “In debate, the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim.  I agree with you in this statement.” ~ R. Ewoldt

            Good. So, Pt. II of my question is, do you, a)  claim to know for certain that no such space-travelers exist? or b) don’t know for certain, but don’t believe they do exist, based on lack of evidence? Which? a or b?

            “Now, what of your answer?” 

            Your previous two-part question: 

            You say that anyone with a claim should have to prove it, right?

            *Right.

            *To avoid wasting your time and my time, I beg of you to NOT come back and say, “AH-ha!…prove to me that God does not exist!”(or something similar). And if you’ve actually been listening, you should know what I’ll do with any such statement and why I will not accept it.

            The Christians claim that God exists; therefore, they should have to prove it.The UFologists claim that extraterrestrials visit earth; therefore, they should have to prove it.

            Is this right? Is this your argument?

            *Yes.

          • O!

            In debate, the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim. R. Ewoldt

            ………….and considering the burden of proof is on you; please provide objective evidence that Jesus’ torturous sacrifice coupled with telepathically stating you love and accept Christ actually saves you from being eternally tortured in the flames of hell.

            Reciting the bible is NOT objective evidence. The bible establishes the claim but does not prove it.

            Or is this a claim that one believes on faith?

            “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” — Mark Twain

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            O, are you claiming that the Bible isn’t objectively true?

          • O!

            My respone is below

          • Anonymous

            boom,

            You and I both know why Christians wish to define Atheism as a “belief system”:

            a) if Atheism is a belief system, Christians will readily claim the burden of proof shifts to Atheists to offer proof of their beliefs

            b) if Atheism is a belief system, Christians will readily point to differences among Atheists re. their beliefs and then claim they are guilty of unorthodoxy

            I do not accept Young Robert’s assertion that Atheism is a belief system in any sense of the term.  It is the height of absurdity to classify the lack of belief in something as a “belief system”.  It won’t fly.  Don’t give an inch on this.  Young Robert is 100% wrong on this.

          • Anonymous

            “if Atheism is a belief system, Christians will readily claim the burden of proof shifts to Atheists to offer proof of their beliefs” ~ Sid

            Yes,  and in which case, they would either be asking, a) for Atheists to prove that they don’t believe in “God”(which is a nonsensical request), or b) for Atheists to prove a negative..i.e..that invisible, conscious beings don’t exist,  which is to commit the fallacy of negative proof(and, as well, is  a nonsensical request)

            ” if Atheism is a belief system, Christians will readily point to differences among Atheists re. their beliefs and then claim they are guilty of unorthodoxy” ~ Sid

            ‘Doesn’t really matter, the way I see it. Atheism doesn’t have a doctrine to which Atheists can be held. Notwithstanding, even if they could effectively demonstrate that there isn’t consensus among Atheists, we can simply use their own argument against them, swapping a few words..i.e… “But, but, but…Atheists agree on the ESSENTIALS of Atheism. Therefore, Atheism is true!!!!”

          • Anonymous

            “(which is a nonsensical request)…(and, as well, is a nonsensical request)”

            Consider where such requests are coming from.  Those who hold to a literal translation of the Bible apparently do believe in each of the miracles I listed on this thread.  They apparently believe them because the Bible says so.  Wow!  So much cognitive dissonance to embrace.  

          • Anonymous

            “Consider where such requests are coming from.” ~ Sid

            Oh, yes. I’ve considered it. Mr. Ewoldt has zero  credible evidence(never mind “proof”) for his claims, which would explain why he spends the bulk of his time attacking atheism and/or trying to say atheism is on level ground with Christian theism.

          • Anonymous

            “You are free to give me input when you think that I’m wrong, but you’d better be willing to back your claims up with facts and logic.” ~ R. Ewoldt

            This is flippin’ hilarious. You’ve been proven wrong over and over, again. Whenever this happens, you either scamper away without responding, or you heap on more fallacious apologetics…..OR, you create a new post, erroneously thinking that relocating fallacious, nonsense will somehow make it not nonsense and not fallacious.

            Let’s see, now…..”God” only knows the future when he knows the future, but other times he doesn’t know the future? Nonsense. “God” is only essentially “omnipotent”? Nonsense. “God” knows, a priori, who he has elected, but people still have the “free will” to choose against what “God” presumably knows??? HAHAHA!  Nonsense. Shall I go on? Okay…..”God” is “ALL-loving”, uh-huh, but he consigns human beings who don’t(or can’t) reciprocate his “love” to be tormented for all of eternity.  Utter nonsense. You believe NON-sense.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Your argument (paraphrased): “God only knows the future sometimes.” I’ve never said that. You are setting up a straw man.

            Your argument (paraphrased): “God is only essentially omnipotent.” Yes, I’ve said that. And it is logically consistent and defendable, and has been by many great minds. Your retort (“Nonsense”) only proves that you have a narrow mind, and are not willing to learn anything, but are dogmatic in your arguments.

            Your argument (paraphrased): “God has elected people, but gives them free will.” You have not brought up this argument before, and have not offered ANY logical evidence that these ideas are inconsistent, or any evidence that you have given any thought to how they may be compatible. This shows me that you’re more interested in attacking rather than thinking.

            Your argument (paraphrased): “God is all-loving, but he condemns people to eternal torment.” God’s love and his justice are completely compatible. Your view of God is really distorted, really. You claim that God must be absolutely loving, or absolutely just, or absolutely omnipotent, or absolutely… etc, etc, etc. When I wrote a post about how God doesn’t have to be absolutely this or that, you come back and you say something like, “How can you POSSIBLY make a good argument that I’m defining these attributes incorrectly? God MUST be the way that I want him to be; otherwise, he would make sense! You’re just a
            Christian apologist! No one should believe what you say, because you’re a
            Christian apologist. You believe in nonsense! You’re someone who believes
            in something like ETs visiting earth! Look at what you’re saying:
            Nonsense! Nonsense! Nonsense! Can’t you get it? He has to be all these
            absolute things, otherwise everything wouldn’t work in my worldview!”

            Let’s just take your argument about omnipotence. Why do you define God’s
            omnipotence as “He must be able to do everything, and he must do
            everything”? Why not “He must be able to do everything, and he does the
            things that are within his will”? Why not define omnipotence as “He must be
            able to do more than any other person or entity”? If you use the first
            definition, then since he must be able to make himself non-omnipotent, then
            he must do that. If you use the first definition, then since he must be
            able to make a rock he cannot lift, then he must do that.

            I submit to you that the second definition of omnipotence makes FAR more
            sense than the definition that you assert, and the reason you insist
            upon the first definition is that then you can use this as an argument
            against God, and you can then be comfortable in your “Agnostic Atheism.”

          • Anonymous

            You: “Your argument (paraphrased): ‘God only knows the future sometimes.’ I’ve never said that. You are setting up a straw man.”

            Here’s what I actually said, unparaphrased:

            “God” only knows the future when he knows the future, but other times he doesn’t know the future?”

            ‘See the question mark? ..i.e….”?” You say that “God” doesn’t  have to be “omnipotent”, absolutely, right? Right.  Then maybe She doesn’t have to be “omniscient”, absolutely, either! Perhaps I’ll know, when/if you answer my question..oops!..I mean, answer my “argument”. (?)

            You: “Your argument (paraphrased): ‘God is only essentially omnipotent’.”

            Oh, look…you’ve got it wrong again. That’s YOUR argument.

            You: “Yes, I’ve said that. And it is logically consistent and defendable, and has been by many great minds.”

            Does making one’s own definitions constitute a “great mind”? So, “God” is “essentially omnipotent”, meaning, only when necessary? Really? So, help me out, here—-can “God” get rid “evil”, or not? Or wait, perhaps “evil”  is necessary

            You: “Your retort (‘Nonsense’) only proves that you have a narrow mind, and are not willing to learn anything, but are dogmatic in your arguments.”

            I used to be a professing, believing Christian. So, I’ve changed my mind once. Now, how is that “dogmatic” and/or having a “narrow mind”???? If you can show me that biblegod’s attributes don’t contradict without making up your own definitions, then that’s one thing, and it’s something that I would have to seriously consider. I mean, perhaps Yahweh still loves those in “hell”? Well? I mean, he doesn’t want them to burn, but he has to see to it they do? He HAS to do something he doesn’t WANT to do? Huh? whAT? That’s some “all-powerful” god you’ve got there!

          • Anonymous

            “Having said that, I am methodically working my way through my own worldview, examining each aspect, with the goal of converting my beliefs from pure faith to evidence-based and logic-based beliefs.” ~ R. Ewoldt

            By the looks of things, you’re better off sticking w/”pure faith”, aka, wish-thinking

            As it stands, your faith(i.e..the Christian Faith)  proposes that snakes, donkeys, and certain vegetation can speak the human language. Your Faith proposes that a corpse can get up out of its grave and strut around. Your Faith proposes that bird’s blood smeared on the face of an individual can heal them of certain diseases. Now seriously, you’re working towards supporting these sorts of claims(and the claims below) with “evidence” and “logic”? Really?? You can keep a straight face and answer “yes” to this????

  • Anonymous

    “[…..]  the difference between ‘absolute omnipotence’ and ‘essential omnipotence’ led some to make the statement that ‘God cannot be both omnipotent and omniscient’ […]”

    I think there’s a chronology error here. I’m pretty sure that I made the argument that God’s “omniscience” and “omnipotence” are mutually exclusive, and it was then that you came back with the “absolute” vs “essential” argument, which,  really, is just another way of saying that “God” is “omnipotent” unless a situations arises that creates a contradiction. In the case that it does, then “God” stops being”omnipotent”.   

    “However, one cannot say that the belief that there is no god is the default position, […]”

    True, but one can say that lack of belief in “God” is the default position,  just as lack of belief in leprechauns, toothfairies, and everything else for which there is not one scrap of objective evidence, is the default position. 

    “unless they say that we were somehow created with a default set of beliefs, which would go another core atheist belief… that there was no Creator.”

    Atheists don’t believe that the human race was “created” by a divine, invisible, conscious being. Correct. However, I don’t know of any Atheist who would disagree that they were created via a process known as pro-creation. Had our biological mothers and fathers not engaged in sexual intercourse, none of us would be here. This is an observable, demonstrable fact.

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      If you’re equating your phrase “lack of belief” with my phrase “absence of belief,” then you’re repeating my point regarding agnosticism.

      • Anonymous

        “If you’re equating your phrase ‘lack of belief’ with my phrase ‘absence of belief’, then you’re repeating my point regarding agnosticism.” ~ R. Ewoldt

        Previously, you said…However, one cannot say that the belief that there is no god is the default position[bold added]

        When you say, “the  belief, etc., etc, that is neither “absence of belief”, nor is it “lack of belief”. And BTW, belief, or lack of, has zero to do with “agnosticism”. I was addressing your statement about “the default position”. The default position is non-belief(or lack of). 

        So, yes, I can most certainly say that my lack of belief in “God” is the default position, just as I can say that my lack of belief in invisible unicorns is the default position.

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          I’m a bit confused as to what you’re saying. You say “lack of belief” has nothing to do with agnosticism. So, I would assume, then, that you would then state, “There is no god.” Is that right?

          If so, then you’re arguing with me over whether the belief that “There is no god” can be the default position, right?

          Or, alternatively, you’re saying that the statement “There is no god,” is NOT a belief, but a “lack of belief”?

          Which is it?

          One is an argument against my definition of belief, and the other is an argument against what I said about the default position.

          • Anonymous

            “I’m a bit confused as to what you’re saying. You say ‘lack of belief’ has nothing to do with agnosticism.” ~ R. Ewoldt

            Yes, that’s what I say. Agnosticism deals with knowledge. Belief/nonbelief and knowledge are not mutually inclusive. For instance, an Agnostic Theist might not know for sure if God exists, but they believe one does, despite that lack of knowledge. An Agnostic Atheist might not know for sure if God exists, but they don’t believe one does, despite that lack of knowledge. It’s really not that complicated.

            “So, I would assume, then, that you would then state, ‘There is no god’. Is that right?”

            No, that is incorrect. I think we’ve been over this no less than a dozen times on this blog. I’ll state my position once more, in the hopes that you’ll finally grasp what I’m saying:

            I cannot know for absolute certain if a generic, incomprehensible, unknowable god, exists. Notwithstanding, I do NOT harbor a belief that one such god *does* exist. In that sense, I am an Agnostic Atheist, by definition. 

            (Mind you, the Christian biblegod is NOT claimed to be any such “generic, incomprehensible, unknowable god”. I can be as certain that this god doesn’t exist, as I am that “married bachelors” do not exist) 

            “If so, then you’re arguing with me over whether the belief that ‘There is no god’ can be the default position, right?”

            I’ve just explained my position in great detail.  Bearing that explanation in mind, the default position is non-belief, or, absence of belief, or, lack of belief. The proclamation, “there is no god!”,  on the other hand, is an implicit belief(since one cannot KNOW for certain), in which case, it doesn’t qualify as default.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            So, you do not know with absolute certainty that there is no god, yet you BELIEVE that there is no god (agnostic atheism). You still have a belief system that is not supported by the evidence.

            In this case, your agnosticism is what you have evidence for (or lack of evidence), not your atheism. Which is further support for my assertion, in my post, that agnostics can make a case for everyone being a blank slate, but atheists not being able to make the same case.

            Your very statements are supporting what I wrote.

          • Anonymous

            “So, you do not know with absolute certainty that there is no god, yet you BELIEVE that there is no god (agnostic atheism). You still have a belief system that is not supported by the evidence.”

            Yes, that would be true, and it would seemingly be a point in your favor, except for two things:

             1) all unknowns are not EQUAL in terms of probability/improbability. On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most certain, how certain are you that invisible pixies don’t live in your garden? How certain are you that Poseidon doesn’t cause earthquakes? How certain are you that gremlins don’t hide people’s car keys? Well? 98? 99? 99.99999999999999999? If the latter, that’s how certain I am that a self-existing, invisible, conscious being didn’t “create” the universe and is currently residing over it right this second.

            2) you don’t believe in a “generic, incomprehensible, unknowable God”. No, you believe in the Christian biblegod, a god whom you claim is knowable in every sense(except when it doesn’t your argument, then he’s a “God” of mystery); a god who has mutually incompatible attributes…i.e..loves everyone, but fries them in hell if they don’t reciprocate that “love”. Thus, your work is still cut out for you, and then some,  even if we allow some generic, unknowable god, could-be-deistic “God”, for sake of argument.  

            And as an aside, none of this affects the fact that non-belief is the default position.

          • Anonymous

            Actually, you didn’t do quite as well as I gave you credit for.  You said….

            “So, you do not know with absolute certainty that there is no god, yet you BELIEVE that there is no god (agnostic atheism)”

            That, I presume, was in response to when I said…

            An Agnostic Atheist might not know for sure if God exists, but they don’t believe one does, despite that lack of knowledge. It’s really not that complicated.

            If so, then you are still erroneously conflating a lack of belief that God exists, with, a belief that God does not exist. They are NOT the same.  So, points 1 and 2 stand, above. And you have fallaciously conflated my actual position with a position that you evidently believe makes your argument work better.

          • Anonymous

            “You still have a belief system that is not supported by the evidence.” ~ R. Ewoldt

            Hopefully, for the last time—-Atheism isn’t a “belief system”, simply because Atheism isn’t a belief. And furthermore, it is not my burden to supply supporting evidence that something does not exist. If that were the case, you could just as well argue that my lack of belief in leprechauns is a “belief system that is not supported by the evidence”.  Now, would that make sense to you? No, of course it wouldn’t……well, hopefully not.

          • Anonymous

            boom,

            It is evident that Young Robert doesn’t share this view.

            BTW, this is a decent article on the subject:

            http://atheism.about.com/b/2007/06/11/atheism-is-not-a-belief-system-does-this-really-need-repeating.htm

          • O!

            O, are you claiming that the Bible isn’t objectively true? R. Ewoldt

            Being evasive – as usual. Your inability to answer a direct question speaks volumes.
             
            Obviously, you can NOT provide objective evidence that Jesus is the metaphysical resurrected son of god who magically transformed sin with his sacrifice on the cross and that telepathically telling him you love and accept him has any reference in reality.
             
            And I can answer your question: considering the bible is a vast and varying collection of stories and records, written by many different writers of their own time period dealing with their own specific agendas of the day, amassed over centuries, first told through oral tradition and then copied and recopied by professional scribes as well as unprofessional scribes – one could argue that there could be objective truths sprinkled along with questionable embellishments or claims of miracles, or how one is supposedly saved.
             
            But as of now, I have NOT been convinced that SPECIFCALLY Jesus’ bloody sacrifice on the cross and his subsequent resurrection coupled with communicating with him telepathically that you love and accept him as lord will actually save you from the eternal flames of hell.
             
            Care to provide objective evidence of this biblical claim or will you continue to play games?

  • Anonymous

    “O, are you claiming that the Bible isn’t objectively true?” ~ R. Ewoldt

    Let’s suppose that “O” is claiming this.  So? What’s your response? 

    BTW,  it’s your move on the previous discussion. When you stated…

    The Christians claim that God exists; therefore, they should have to prove it. The UFologists claim that extraterrestrials visit earth; therefore, they should have to prove it.

    I confirmed this with a “yes”. Those who make extraordinary claims have the burden of proving those claims. It is NOT the burden of the skeptic to disprove people’s extraordinary claims.

    • Anonymous

      Objective: adj  expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations.

      (ref: Merriam-Webster)

      Like any book, the book in question..i.e..the Bible, is dependent upon the reader’s interpretation. This undeniable fact, alone, means that even if said document contained elements of “objective” truth, it is a moot point.

      • Anonymous

        I am amazed when Christian apologists point to some historically accurate content within the Bible and then claim that somehow lends credibility to the many supernatural claims of the Bible.  I don’t know of many scholars who would deny that Hammurabi was a real person… and that Hammurabi’s Code was actually recorded around the 18th century B.C.E…. and that some portion of Mosaic Law (which came centuries later) does bear some similarity to Hammurabi’s Code… but I am willing to bet that Young Robert REFUSES to believe Hammurabi’s claim that Anu and Bel are REAL deities who inspired Hammurabi to produce the code.  I also suppose that Young Robert’s refusal to accept Anu and Bel as REAL deities should be classified as a “belief system”, right?

        • Anonymous

          “I also suppose that Young Robert’s lack of belief that Anu and Bel are REAL deities should be classified as a ‘belief system’, right?” ~Sid

          Right, and it’s a “belief system” that evidently requires “faith”.

    • Anonymous

      “boom, this is NOT a tough question” ~ R. Ewoldt

      • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

        Boom, your question was about the burden of proof, which you posed as a “tough question.”. Please don’t mislead readers as to what question I was answering.

        • Anonymous

          Mislead the readers? That is priceless.

          As for future posts, as I’ve said before, relocating fallacious arguments doesn’t make them not fallacious.  It was evidently okay to come this far in our exchange, when you said….

          You say that anyone with a claim should have to prove it, right?

          …to which I answered “yes”. Yet, now, all of the sudden you want to address it in an “individual post”?

           Again, YES, anyone with a claim should have to prove it, especially if the claim is extraordinary; especially if included in that claim are threats of bodily harm if I don’t accept it as “true”. And you know good and well to what threat I speak of.

          Let’s have it Robert—where, pray-tell,  are you going with this? Hmmmmm…

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            As far as I’m concerned, we’re on the same page when it comes to the burden of proof. If I make a claim, the it’s mine to prove. If you make a claim, then it’s yours to prove. I’m not going to deal with this particular issue in a separate post.

          • Anonymous

            “If I make a claim, the it’s mine to prove. If you make a claim, then it’s yours to prove. I’m not going to deal with this particular issue in a separate post.” ~ R. Ewoldt

            Fair enough. Do you acknowledge that all claims are not on equal ground as far as plausibility? IOW, if Joe Blow claims that there’s an invisible dragon in his garage, and you don’t believe him and even go as far as to say that he doesn’t have any such thing in his garage, do you recognize that one claim is extraordinary, and the other is simply employing a healthy dose of skepticism? Isn’t it obvious which is which?

          • Anonymous

            An open question to the blog’s owner and/or any guest Christian:

            Do you acknowledge that all claims are not on equal ground as far as plausibility? IOW(in other words), if Joe Blow claims that there’s an invisible dragon in his garage and you don’t believe him and even go as far as to say that he doesn’t have any such thing in his garage, do you recognize that one claim is extraordinary, and the other is simply employing a healthy dose of skepticism?

            Any takers?

      • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

        As for other questions/issues, they may be too tough for some people to understand, but I plan to deal with each of the “tough” questions in an individual post throughout the year-long series. Don’t take my silence on one issue for a concession, if it’s a post on an entirely different subject. I will get to O’s question in a future post. And, for the record, O’s problem is not that complicated to refute.

        • Anonymous

          “And, for the record, O’s problem is not that complicated to refute.” ~ R. Ewoldt

          Says the presuppositionalist..i.e..the one who has determined, a priori, that his worldview is true and is the only basis for rational thought, and therefore, there MUST be sound refutations for any and ALL opposing views and arguments. 

          You are a victim, Robert. You’ve inherited the family belief-system, and now you’re stuck having to defend it. Sad.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            O’s issue is with the accuracy of the Bible today, and whether it is the same as it was hundreds/thousands of years ago, which is a rather easy issue to deal with. If one is basing their non-belief on this issue, then they haven’t really done their homework. I’ve only been researching this topic in depth for a couple of months, and it’s an easy question (if a little long) to answer.

          • Anonymous

            “O’s issue is with the accuracy of the Bible today, and whether it is the same as it was hundreds/thousands of years ago, which is a rather easy issue to deal with. If one is basing their non-belief on this issue, then they haven’t really done their homework.”  ~ R. Ewoldt

            I’ve done my homework, and I’ve yet to see any credible evidence that snakes, donkeys, and certain vegetation can speak the human language, or that cadavers can walk around or communicate from beyond the grave. Perhaps I haven’t looked in the right place, though.  ‘Care to direct me to the place or literature that offers objective confirmation of these sorts of things?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Nice try to bring up another issue… that is not the issue that O is bringing up. O brought up the issue of how we know that the Bible we read today is the same as was written.

          • Anonymous

            “O brought up the issue of how we know that the Bible we read today is the same as was written.”

            No, he did not! He CLEARLY stated that the Bible may have objective truths interspersed with extraordinary claims.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Again, “amassed over centuries, first told through oral tradition and then copied and recopied by professional scribes as well as unprofessional scribes…” quoted verbatim.

          • Anonymous

            Robert, you are being dishonest right now.  A 5th grader could read what O wrote and realize he never once said the Bible lacked translational consistency.  Evey part of his description of how the Bible came into being is commonly accepted.  Do I need to diagram O’s post for you and spell it out?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Sid, let me diagram out O’s post for you:

            Me: Are you claiming that the Bible is not objectively true?
            O: I can answer your question:

            1. The bible is a vast and varying collection of stories and records
            2. Written by many different writers of their own time period
            3. Dealing with their own specific agendas of the day
            4. Amassed over centuries
            5. First told through oral tradition and
            6. Then copied and recopied by professional scribes as well as unprofessional scribes –

            Conclusion #1: One could argue that there could be objective truths sprinkled
            Conclusion #2: Along with questionable embellishments or claims of miracles,
            Conclusion #3: Or how one is supposedly saved.

            [All of the data thus far has been exact quotes from O] 

            My interpretation:
            Question: Is the Bible objectively true?
            Answer: Some of it is true, some of it isn’t, because of #1-6.

            All of O’s points deal with how the Bible was passed down over centuries (oral tradition, scribal techniques, dealing with specific agendas, etc.).

          • Anonymous

            Let me diagram this for you bit by bit.

            1. “the bible is a vast and varying collection of stories and records”

            This is correct. Some scripture deals with history. Some deals with prophecy. Some deals with laws and regulations. Some includes poetry (music if you like).

            2. “written by many different writers of their own time period dealing with their own specific agendas of the day”

            This is obviously true considering how many centuries passed between the oldest manuscripts of the OT and the most recent manuscripts of the NT.

            3. “amassed over centuries”

            Correct.

            4. “first told through oral tradition and then copied and recopied by professional scribes as well as unprofessional scribes ”

            This is correct. There is no conjecture in this comment that later Bible translations were inconsistent with one another after the scripture was written down.

            5. ” one could argue that there could be objective truths sprinkled along with questionable embellishments or claims of miracles, or how one is supposedly saved.”

            This is his point. The Bible contains extraordinary claims interspersed with some objective true content. NOWHERE does he claim the Bible lacks translational consistency.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            So, are you willing to concede that the vast majority of the Bible is the same today as when it was written? And your only issue is with the content of what was written (miracles, etc.)?

          • Anonymous

            “So, are you willing to concede that the vast majority of the Bible is the same today as when it was written?”

            Concede???!!!  I never argued on this thread that the Bible lacks translational consistency from whence it was codified.  Neither did boom or O for that matter.  As far as how consistent it may be to the very original manuscripts, I don’t know or care if it was translated in a consistent fashion or not.  Its many extraordinary claims are STILL not believable to me.  

          • Anonymous

            “Answer: Some of it is true, some of it isn’t, because of #1-6.”

            No!  Some of the Bible certainly appears to us to be true because it contains historical information that can be corroborated through other sources.  O clearly has issue with the many extraordinary claims contained within the Bible that is interspersed with the content that he believes is accurate.  It has NOTHING to do with translational consistency.  What is not believable as recorded way back then (e.g. Hezekiah’s request to have the sun move backwards being fulfilled ) is not believable now.  I don’t care if the best scribes on Earth translated the Bible under threat of death for making one grammatical error.  That does not make the extraordinary claims any more believable.

          • Anonymous

            It’s NOT entirely “another issue”, as obviously you believe it’s the same today as yesterday, in which case, the zombies and the magical talking plants and animals would have the same objective confirmation today as yesterday.

             So, where, pray-tell, is this objective confirmation? If the bible is false today, who flippin’ cares about it being false a few thousand years ago?

          • Anonymous

            I want someone to explain how the freaking sun moved backwards.  I can’t believe anyone alive on Earth honestly believes that happened.  Good gravy!

          • Anonymous

            “O’s issue is with the accuracy of the Bible today, and whether it is the same as it was hundreds/thousands of years ago, which is a rather easy issue to deal with.”  (comment by Young Robert)

            Young Robert, O clearly did not claim on this thread that the Bible lacks historical accuracy or translational consistency over the centuries.  Nowhere in his post did he make ANY such claim.  What O clearly stated is that the Bible may contain objective truth along with embellishments and extraordinary claims.  Don’t bother wasting your time drafting a lecture re. how Bible translations have maintained a high degree of accuracy over the eons.  The fact that the Bible includes some historically accurate content and that some Bible translations bear a high degree of consistency over the centuries DO NOT lend any credibility to all the extraordinary claims contained within its passages.  

            ” If one is basing their non-belief on this issue, then they haven’t really done their homework.”

            This is a really condescending (and misguided) reply by you.  Again, O clearly did not claim that Bible translations lack consistency over the years.  O clearly questioned the extraordinary claims contained within scripture.

            I don’t think you would challenge the authenticity and the consistency of the Code of Hammurabi over the past 20 centuries.  Hammurabi seems to have been a real person who produced a codified list of laws and regulations.  However, I am pretty sure you do not believe that Anu and Bel are REAL deities who inspired Hammurabi to have the code created (as Hammurabi claims).  You are a non-believer in Anu and Bel as deities.  Graciously, we will not demand PROOF from you to support your non-belief in Anu and Bel because we also obviously don’t believe they were deities.  We also do not find YHWH to be any more believable than Anu or Bel.  

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Let me quote O: “considering the bible is a vast and varying collection of stories and records, written by many different writers of their own time period dealing with their own specific agendas of the day, amassed over centuries, first told through oral tradition and then copied and recopied by professional scribes as well as unprofessional scribes – one could argue that there could be objective truths sprinkled along with questionable embellishments or claims of miracles, or how one is supposedly saved.”
            He’s questioning the accuracy of how the Bible was handed down.

          • Anonymous

            WRONG!  Let me diagram this for you bit by bit.

            1.   “the bible is a vast and varying collection of stories and records”

            This is correct.  Some scripture deals with history.  Some deals with prophecy.  Some deals with laws and regulations.  Some includes poetry (music if you like).

            2.  “written by many different writers of their own time period dealing with their own specific agendas of the day”

            This is obviously true considering how many centuries passed between the oldest manuscripts of the OT and the most recent manuscripts of the NT.

            3. “amassed over centuries”

            Correct.

            4. “first told through oral tradition and then copied and recopied by professional scribes as well as unprofessional scribes ”

            This is correct.  There is no conjecture in this comment that later Bible translations were inconsistent with one another after the scripture was written down.

            5.  ” one could argue that there could be objective truths sprinkled along with questionable embellishments or claims of miracles, or how one is supposedly saved.”

            This is his point.  The Bible contains extraordinary claims interspersed with some objective true content.  NOWHERE does he claim the Bible lacks translational consistency.

            If you want to slay dragons, slay dragons that are presented.  O clearly DID NOT claim the Bible was inaccurately passed on.  Aside from that, who cares if it was.  It doesn’t make the extraordinary claims any more believable. 

          • Anonymous

            “O’s issue is with the accuracy of the Bible today, and whether it is the same as it was hundreds/thousands of years ago, which is a rather easy issue to deal with.”[bold print added] ~ R. Ewoldt

            And I reiterate—if the bible isn’t accurate today, then whether it’s the same today as it was “hundreds/thousands of years ago” is a moot point…i.e….of zero practical value.

            An open challenge to the blog’s owner or any guest Christian:

            Please point me to the place where the bible’s accuracy had been *objectively confirmed. 

            *This excludes using the bible as its own source, which, as most educated people know, is circular logic(fallacy).

        • O!

          Nice try to bring up another issue… that is not the issue that O is bringing up. O brought up the issue of how we know that the Bible we read today is the same as was written.   R. Ewoldt

          This is getting ridiculously tiresome.

          I am NOT the one who brought the issue up.

          My issue is and has been with you providing objective evidence that Jesus is the metaphysical resurrected son of god who magically transformed sin with his sacrifice on the cross and that telepathically telling him you love and accept him has any reference in reality.
           
          You are the one who asked the question.  Remember?
          ”O, are you claiming that the Bible isn’t objectively true?”  R. Ewoldt
           
          It’s your issue.   You brought it up. You are a hypocrite. How was it worded? Oh yeah you said…
          Nice try to bring up another issue…  R. Ewoldt
           
          And what is painfully apparent is you brought up this issue to diverge from providing objective evidence for the Christian claim of salvation.

          Classic Christian diverging tactic. Quick look over there…………….pay no attention to the original issue….
           
           “And, for the record, O’s problem is not that complicated to refute.” ~ R. Ewoldt
           
          And in the time you took to play your little hypocritical diverging games you could have replied.

          If it’s not that complicated — why didn’t you just offer an easy refutation right here; right now???????????

          • Anonymous

            “Classic Christian diverging tactic. Quick look over there…………….pay no attention to the original issue….”

            Amen!  

          • O!

            Amen, indeed.

            …and who thinks Robert’s supposed “objective evidence” for the Christian claim of salvation will be nothing more than lame rationalizations, fallacious reasoning and subjective meanderings that can only convince the already convinced (i.e. the faithful)?

          • Anonymous

            Yes, convincing the already-convinced….aka..apologetics. 

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

    Hello Heathens! lol The last week has been pretty awesome on the science front. 
     
    First a planet that has TWO suns http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepler-16b.html 
     
    And now a subatomic particle possibly faster than the speed of light! 
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/22/cern-light-speed_n_977014.html 
     
    The more we learn, the more we realize how little we know. 
     

    • Anonymous

      “The more we learn, the more we realize how little we know.” ~ Broc Middleton

      Yes, science is far, far from knowing everything. 

      In the mean time, the fact that science has a long way to go, doesn’t detract from the fact that science is the  more reliable method of obtaining knowledge—more reliable than things like alchemy, astrology, gut-instinct, and divine revelation.

      • Anonymous

        Richard Dawkins has long advocated the position that the replacement for science is better science.  True scientists should be willing to modify their existing conclusions when new and compelling evidence surfaces.  

        • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

          Ahh look at you guys all “liking” each others post….so cute!!!!!

          • Anonymous

            Behold the Atheists like each other’s posts argument for the existence of God:

            1. Atheists sometimes agree with other Atheists

            2. Atheists sometimes hit the “like” button

            3. Therefore, God exists!

          • Anonymous

            We appreciate listening to sound reason.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Did I mention anything about God?  Nope

            Did I present any arguement for or against? Nope

            Other than posting information I found interesting, did I say anything regarding how I view the links that I posted? Nope

            Hmmm…………….Perhaps some self examination would be a good idea. 

          • Anonymous

            “Other than posting information I found interesting, did I say anything regarding how I view the links that I posted? Nope” ~ Broc Middleton

            Right. And notice that some of the responses are in regards to your links; other responses are in regards to your pointing out that some of the Atheist readership “like” other Atheist’s posts.  Regarding the former..i.e..the links, you pointed out  “how little we know”, etc. ‘Seems to me that that was a implicit affront on science. But perhaps not. If it was, then what you have is a non-sequitur. Again, the fact that we and/or science don’t know everything doesn’t detract from the fact that science is the most reliable method for acquiring knowledge. If it wasn’t an affront on science, then cool, thanks for the links!….I love learning about the universe in which I live!

          • Anonymous

            Broc,

            What are you talking about?  You posted a message re. how it was “cute” that we (i.e. the Heathens) like one another’s post.  I responded by saying that we like listening to sound reason coming from one another.  I said nothing about you or anything you posted.  

            “Hmmm…………….Perhaps some self examination would be a good idea. ”

            Maybe Broc needs to take a chill pill.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Why so serious??? (Joker from Dark Knight)

            Shocking that you find someone who agrees with you to be of “sound reason”…ah the wisdom. Really you “discuss” this topic for 120+ post and I need a chill pill….riiiight. 

          • Anonymous

            You started this exchange with a jab re. how we Heathens are acting “cute” by liking one another’s posts.  I simply replied re. why we “like” one another’s posts.  You then sounded defensive and suggested I need self-examination.  Sounds like there is no point debating with you…

            “Shocking that you find someone who agrees with you to be of “sound reason”…ah the wisdom.”

            Gee, isn’t that what you and your fellow church members do… and considering what you actually claim to believe, it seems all the more astounding to us.

            Have a nice day.

          • Anonymous

            Regarding “sound reason”, what’s up, Theists? What, you don’t agree with us Atheists that sound reasoning is a good thing???? 

            Regarding the long discussion—I’ll wager that doctors discussed rabies much, much longer than we’ve discussed “God” before they finally found a vaccine.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Doctor proably discussed rabies for so long because it was possible to find a vaccine.  Tell me, how exactly is it possible to prove or disprove God…..whats that you say, its not possible?  Oh ok then I assume the debate is over then right? 

          • Anonymous

            The burden of proof rests upon thy shoulders, ye man of God.  It rests not with us… despite Young Robert’s attempt to transfer it there.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Back to the burden of proof BS…that’s progess. It’s that exact talking in circles why I don’t really pay attention to these post anymore. 

          • Anonymous

            “Back to the burden of proof BS” ~ Broc

            Except that you patently do not believe it’s “BS”, and if you answer the following questions, this will show the viewer that you do not believe it’s “BS”.  

            First things, first: Do you acknowledge that all claims are not on equal ground as far as plausibility? Yes or no? If yes, see next question.

            If Joe Blow claims that there’s an invisible dragon in his garage and you don’t believe him and even go as far as to claim that he doesn’t have any such thing in his garage, do you recognize that one claim is extraordinary, and the other is simply employing a healthy dose of skepticism? Yes or no? If yes, see next question.

            Would you say that, a) the man claiming that there’s an invisible dragon in his garage has the burden of proving his claim to you, or b)  is it your burden to spend your days trying to disprove him? a or b?

            I’d be willing to wager a lot of money that you don’t believe the burden of proof is “BS”. But feel free to prove me wrong.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            No you are absolutely right that all claims are not the same however seeing as though a majority of people are earth DO believe in a deity and YOU are the minority that do not. It is on YOU as the MINORITY to change the opinions of the MAJORITY with your proof. ..Now I you don’t see it that way, but that’s the way it is. 
             
            Again this is right back to where this whole debate started months ago and with ZERO progress made it is a waste of time. 

          • Anonymous

            “No you are absolutely right that all claims are not the same however seeing as though a majority of people are earth DO believe in a deity and YOU are the minority that do not. It is on YOU as the MINORITY to change the opinions of the MAJORITY with your proof.”

            100% balderdash.

            “Again this is right back to where this whole debate started months ago and with ZERO progress made it is a waste of time.”

            Young Robert has never expressed those views. In fact, he has been very gracious re. our participation on his forum. He doesn’t view this as a waste of time.

          • Anonymous

            “[…]but that’s the way it is.” ~ Broc

            I’m afraid not. Truth isn’t ascertained by popular vote. 

              

          • Anonymous

            Broc,

            You appear to have contributed very little (if any) substance to these ongoing discussions on Young Robert’s site since boom and O! and I have joined the party.  If you feel the discussions are a waste of your time, why do you bother to come here and throw stones.  Why not be an adult and keep your personal opinions to yourself. 

            “…I don’t really pay attention to these post anymore.”

            Translation:  Keep blinders on and disregard sound reason…

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Tell me, during your “discussion” what has Bob said that made you change your opinion? 

            Has your view changed?

          • Anonymous

            “Tell me, during your “discussion” what has Bob said that made you change your opinion?”

            Nothing.  In fact, my own views have been fortified during these exchanges.  I would also like to believe that some Christians who follow these exchanges on this blog would be open to hearing the views of those (i.e. us Heathens”) who once shared their beliefs but now do not.  We once believed much of what Young Robert espouses, but we considered it further and we no longer believe.  You may (or may not) choose to believe there really is such a thing as an ex-Christian, but we are just that.  Believe it.     

            “Has your view changed?”

            No.  However, I do have a greater understanding of how apologists like Young Robert defend their positions.  I don’t feel these exchanges have been a waste of time at all.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Good for you! I do want to speak for Bob, but I guess I am about to and I would probalby say the same thing.  I guess its great for both you. 

          • Anonymous

            “Doctor proably discussed rabies for so long because it was possible to find a vaccine”

            Doctors couldn’t have known, a prior, that a rabies vaccine was possible. Notwithstanding, I highly doubt they discussed options like smearing bird’s blood on the face of the afflicted or ridding them of their “demons”…..BOO!

            ” Tell me, how exactly is it possible to prove or disprove God…..whats that you say, its not possible? “

            Actually, no, that’s not what I say; that’s what Broc (erroneously) says.  I say, the Christian biblegod had no qualms about making public appearances back in the day, so “He” can appear again, and whammo!…proof of God’s existence. After all, he’s allegedly  “omnipresent” and in our midst this very second! This should be easy for him!

            As for disproving God, until he makes such an appearance, the Christian biblegod, in concept, is every bit disproven as a “married bachelor” is disproven.

  • Anonymous

    ..

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton
    • Anonymous

      What, exactly, do the the “Dead Sea Scrolls” prove? ‘Just curious.

      • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

        Dead Sea Scrolls PROVE…..nothing regarding God’s existance, its just he first time they have been available online for everyone to view.  I thought this crowd might want to check that out.  If not, thats fine too. 

    • Anonymous

      Skeptic’s Annotated Bible available online…

      http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

      It doesn’t PROVE anything, but I thought some of those in this crowd might want to check that out.

      • Anonymous

        It most certainly does prove something. If one looks under “cruelty and violence”, it’s proves that the bible’s central character, “Yahweh”, is  NOT by any stretch of the imagination, an “omnibenevolent”, “all-loving” guy.  Or wait….let me guess, perhaps he’s only essentially omnibenevolent and all-loving?

        • Anonymous

          boom,

          My “PROVE” comment was intended to be a satirical reply to Broc’s earlier post where he said the same thing re. the Dead Sea Scrolls. We are on the same page here.  

          What is really sad is that apologists like William Lane Craig will readily leap to YWHW’s defense that YHWH is fully “justified” in following any course of action YHWH sees fit.  I am willing to bet that Young Robert agrees with Craig.

          • Anonymous

            “My ‘PROVE’ comment was intended to be a satirical reply to Broc’s earlier post where he said the same thing re. the Dead Sea Scrolls. We are on the same page here.” ~ Sid

            Yup.

            “What is really sad is that apologists like William Lane Craig will readily leap to YWHW’s defense that YHWH is fully ‘justified’ in following any course of action YHWH sees fit.” ~ Sid

            Yes, because that’s how Craig, and subsequently his proponents, define “moral”..i.e..anything that God decides at a given moment, even if it’s something despicably harmful or inhumane. IOW, “good” is based on no external ideal of “right”/”wrong”, but only on Yahweh’s opinion, which is completely arbitrary. Boy, that’s some objectivity, isn’t it? 

            “I am willing to bet that Young Robert agrees with Craig.” ~ Sid

            That’s easy money.

          • Anonymous

            Amazing how far apologists will go to defend and propagate their beliefs…

            I don’t find compelling evidence to believe in YHWH.  It seems more probable to me that YHWH is a creation resulting from the delusion of ancient Hebrews.  I think the acts described in the manuscripts are a reflection of the culture whose members wrote the manuscripts.  Many of the acts appear savage and primitive to us because those were savage and primitive people (relatively speaking).  The Greeks and Romans of the 1st and 2nd century C.E. had the sense to realize a “vengeful” YHWH wouldn’t win over the masses, so YHWH became characterized as more “loving” and “forgiving”.  Emperor Constantine et. al. did their homework.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Its amazing how far Atheist will go to deny God…..

            Watch, Think, Reflect
            http://youtu.be/LzetqYev_AI 

          • Anonymous

            I find Stephen Hawking’s explanation far more convincing that no God was necessary to create the universe.

            BTW, is this you:

            http://www.facebook.com/people/Broc-Middleton/1320338877

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Yep that’s ME!

          • Anonymous

            Broc,

            Can you think of a time when time didn’t exist? I’ll wager that if you take your own advice..i.e..”think” and “reflect”, that you cannot. And BTW, to ask why there is “existence”, as opposed to non-existence,  is meaningless question. It’s like asking, “Hey, what’s south of the South Pole?” 

            No one has any reason to believe that “nothing” would exist, as opposed to everything. But even if there was a time when “nothing” existed, that would rule out “God”, too. Think….reflect. 

            “Its amazing how far Atheist will go to deny God…..”

            It’s amazing that you resort to ad hominems and that you still haven’t learned the Atheist’ position, especially after pointing out that there’s “120+” posts here.

          • Anonymous

            test

          • Anonymous

            boom,

            You might find this interesting (in case you hadn’t heard about this on the news).  This 18-year old girl in Florida was linked to the beating death of a 16-year old boy.  This girl claims in the interview that she has believed with every fiber of her being since age 12 that she was a vampire/werewolf.  She goes on in some detail to describe vampirism and the history of the practice.  She really BELIEVES this and claims to have consumed human blood.  How could someone do research and BELIEVE with every fiber of their being that they are correct… and be 100% delusional.  Then again, her claim to be a vampire doesn’t sound any more outrageous than modern Christians believing the sun moved backwards for Hezekiah or that Moses and the Hebrew nation walked through a divided sea right before Pharaoh’s charioteers drowned in that sea.

            http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/Murder_Suspect_claims_she_is_a_vampire__130600158.html

          • Anonymous

            But, Sid, she’s not in a cult. No, she has a personal relationship with Count Dracula! 

            And BTW, MILLIONS of teens think vampires are really neato, so you are in a minority! Yes, the burden of disproving vampires is on you, and that’s just the way it is!

            ; )

          • Anonymous

            Golly!  I better get with the program.  I don’t want to be left behind when the kind and loving Count Dracula returns for his flock.

            BTW, if you feel like investing 18 minutes to watch the interview with Stephanie Pistey (i.e. the vampire/werewolf) in the link I attached, it is alarming.  She doesn’t seem to show any real remorse at all.  I have a feeling that she will have a real hard time in prison if she is placed in the general population with hardened criminals.  

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Yep Christianity and vampires… same thing…solid point!

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            This is fun! :)

          • Anonymous

            I am glad you are having fun.  However, it would be more edifying for this forum if Broc actually made some substantive contribution to the discussion.  As it is, this is his opinion of your thread and the subsequent discussion:

            “Again this is right back to where this whole debate started months ago and with ZERO progress made it is a waste of time.” – Broc

            Broc apparently thinks the discussion on this forum is a waste of time.  Young Robert, you have been an integral part of the discussion.  Therefore, it appears Broc thinks your participation has been an integral part of that “waste of time”.  Maybe you and Broc need to sit down over tea and share your true feelings with one another.  Work it out.  ;->

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            I thought that Broc has provided some good links, which have added to the conversation. I especially liked the video from Dr. Schroeder; it provoked some thought. I’d welcome your thoughts regarding his arguments vs. Dr. Hawking’s arguments, since I haven’t yet seen the Discovery Channel video.

          • Anonymous

            It is noble of you to defend your compadre in light of the fact that he called the discussion on this forum a “waste of time”.  It is decent of you to take the high road in light of his condemnation of your best efforts to foster a meaningful discussion here.

            If you want to discuss Dr. Hawking’s comments on this forum, it would be best for you to first watch it for yourself.  Perhaps Discovery Channel will air it again soon.  They show re-runs of programs quite a bit.

            http://curiosity.discovery.com/topic/space-exploration/did-god-create-universe-episode.htm

          • Anonymous

            ‘Glad you asked…

            For one thing(and this occurs in the first few minutes of the video and then again later on),  this Schroeder chap goes on about how “the universe is tuned for life”. Okay, well, according to the Hubble telescope, there are 125 BILLION known galaxies. The fact that life exists on our planet in our solar system hardly constitutes “the universe”.  If anything, it seems that the balance of the universe is “designed” for black holes and dark energy. Moreover, as we type back and forth, there are entire galaxies colliding into one another. That’s some “fine-tuning”

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Yes, but isn’t that the point? That the odds/probability of having a planet that’s tuned for life is SO small as to be impossible, yet it happened? This is, supposedly, the argument that convinced Antony Flew to conclude that there is a god, yet you dismiss it, saying “Why isn’t the rest of the universe so finely tuned?” (I’m paraphrasing).

            Is your conclusion, then, that because the rest of the universe isn’t tuned for life, therefore God doesn’t exist?

          • Anonymous

            “Yes, but isn’t that the point? That the odds/probability of having a planet that’s tuned for life is SO small as to be impossible, yet it happened?”

            Wrong!  Considering the vast enormity of the universe, the odds that life exists on any planet are NOT so small as to be impossible.  Do some more research.

            While you are at it, this is a good video re. evolution:

          • Anonymous

            “Yes, but isn’t that the point? That the odds/probability of having a planet that’s tuned for life […]”

            He doesn’t say “planet” or solar system—he says UNIVERSE.

            “is SO small as to be impossible, yet it happened?”

            If it happened, then it wasn’t quite “impossible”, was it?(rhetorical)

            What are the chances of us being here? 100% !…..we’re here, aren’t we?(rhetorical)

            “Is your conclusion, then, that because the rest of the universe isn’t tuned for life, therefore God doesn’t exist?”

            No. My conclusion is, if something occurs – despite the extremely, extremely low odds of it occuring – this doesn’t preclude good ol’ Lady Luck ; )

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            boom, I believe we’ve had this conversation before. You say, “It can’t be impossible if we’re actually here. Must have been dumb luck” (I’m paraphrasing). I say, “It was impossible. The fact that it happened is pretty good evidence that there’s a god.”

            You confuse “highly improbable odds” with “impossible odds.” There is a difference, at least mathematically.

          • Anonymous

            See bottom of thread

          • Anonymous

            Many early adherents to the Christian faith once believed the Earth was the center of the universe… until Galileo peered through a telescope and dared to open his mouth.  The Church didn’t take immediate liking to Galileo’s findings.  Interesting how science yields to better science whilst dogma has yielded… kicking and screaming… with charges of heresy and threats of excommunication etc. along the way.

          • Anonymous

            Broc,

            In case you hadn’t noticed, the subject of this thread is, “Cross Examination: Faith and Belief”.  I clearly indicated that the girl in the video BELIEVES she is a vampire/werewolf.  I am willing to bet that you and Young Robert don’t believe in vampires and werewolves, but she apparently does.  She claims in the video that she drank blood, and she is defending her views despite the fact she may spend the rest of her life in prison.  Her FAITH in vampirism may be just as genuine as your FAITH in Christ.  That was the point of my post.  That should have been patently obvious.   

          • Anonymous

            “Her FAITH in vampirism may be just as genuine as your FAITH in Christ.  That was the point of my post.  That should have been patently obvious.” ~ Sid

            Obvious, point on, and perfectly relevant to the topic.

          • Anonymous

            IOW, harboring fervent, sincere belief in something doesn’t mean that said belief is grounded in reality

            Addendum: Nor does popular vote dictate the plausibility of a belief, or shift burden of proof.

          • Anonymous

            Spot on, mate.  

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            I agree that having a sincere faith in something is not evidence that it is true.

          • Anonymous

            Agreed.  I guess Broc didn’t grasp that point.  Since Broc apparently views this discussion Young Robert has worked so hard to promote as being a “waste of time”, perhaps it slipped past him.  I, for one, am surprised that Broc would make such a brazen comment re. Young Robert’s best efforts to promote a healthy exchange among us.  I appreciate that Young Robert created this forum.  Young Robert has expressed his appreciation to us re. our participation.  I guess Broc feels differently… considering his highly insulting and demeaning comments re. this forum.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Take as much exception to my comments as you would like, however when I said the “discussion” is a “waste of time” it was referring the COMPLETE lack of any progress IN the discussion.  It doesn’t matter what Bob post’s about the same issues come up and continue to be sticking points.  So while Bob does create a great forum for discussion and creates post with new topics the “discussion” does not evolve because none of the participants change.  So when the same people, with same views, debate the same issues, with the same results, it does become a waste of time. 

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            I think the same issues keep coming up again and again, because I haven’t dealt yet with the issues that the participants think are the key issues in the debate. I’ve been laying some groundwork in my own mind before dealing with other issues.

            Remember, this series is much more for ME than it is for them. I’m not concerned with convincing them. I’m a Christian, and in the series, I’m trying to prove to myself that Christianity is true. If I can’t do that, then my faith is worthless.

          • Anonymous

            “I’m not concerned with convincing them.”

            You are not concerned with our standing before God and where our eternal souls will reside?  What sort of soul winner are you?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Christians do not “win souls”… God does that. 

          • Anonymous

            Matthew 28:19-20
            New International Version (NIV)

            (19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            John 6:44:

            No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

          • Anonymous

            “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

            This is really, truly some astounding disclosure.

            ‘ Everybody see this? Check it out: The ball is clearly in biblegod’s court! Our own wills and intentions evidently mean nothing at all! Wow! So much for that “free will” crap, huh?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            John 6:64-65

            64But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.  65And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

          • Anonymous

            Broc,

            You quoted Bible verses from the Book of John.  Please tell me who wrote the Book of John?  What is the author’s name? 

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            John’s Gospel authorship is anonymous. Its Chapter 21 states it derives from the testimony of the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved.’ However, if you would prefer reference to Romans, which was authored by Paul, who was previously Saul, I could provide those as well. 

          • Anonymous

            see below

          • Anonymous

            “Remember, this series is much more for ME than it is for them. I’m not concerned with convincing them. I’m a Christian, and in the series, I’m trying to prove to myself that Christianity is true. If I can’t do that, then my faith is worthless.” ~ R.  Ewoldt

            Except that you haven’t demonstrated at any point along the way that you have doubt that “Christianity is true”. Or have I missed something? Perhaps if you had actually answered my previous question…..this one

            “Do you know that Yahweh exists, or not?”

            ….this might’ve provided some insight as to what exactly is going on here and where you stand. For instance, if you provided a “yes” to the question, then my first question would be, why “faith” at all, even as YOU define it? If  you answered the question with a “no”, then I could see where “faith” plays a role, albeit, your more recent statement about wanting to move from “faith” and presuppositionalism to logic and evidentialism, is mystifying.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Here’s a question for you, boom. What percentage of Christianity has to be proven to you before you’ll take the rest on “faith”? What if the evidence doesn’t prove all of Christianity, but it makes Christianity more probable than any other worldview (Morman, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, etc)? If the evidence points to there being a Creator of the universe, and that it has many/most of the characteristics described by the Bible, would you take the rest on faith?

          • Anonymous

            “Here’s a question for you, boom.”

            Okay, but was that a “yes” or “no” to the question regarding the existence of the biblical “Yahweh”? “Yes”, you know “Yahweh” exists? Or “no”, you don’t?

            “What percentage of Christianity has to be proven to you before you’ll take the rest on ‘faith’?”

            “Christianity” is a broad term. There’s the Christian philosophy as delineated in the bible; and then there’s supposedly the type of Christianity that involves a personal relationship with the central figurehead found in said philosophy. As for the former, there’s no amount of “faith” that could allow me to reconcile a “God” who is “omnibenevolent” and “all-loving”, with a place of eternal punishment by incineration. There’s no amount of “faith” that could allow me to reconcile a “God” who claims to be merciful, with a “God” who drowns people and even innocent animals.  As for the latter, I’d need to see evidence that the person with whom I can have this supposed relationship, exists.  I won’t/can’t accept it on “faith”, and I shouldn’t have to. 

            “If the evidence points to there being a Creator of the universe, and that it has many/most of the characteristics described by the Bible, would you take the rest on faith?”

            That’s putting the cart before the horse, simply because I don’t see “the evidence” pointing to there being a “Creator of the universe”.

            But even if I was thoroughly convinced that there was a  “Creator” and that said being had “many/most of the characteristics described by the Bible”, whether I accept the rest on faith is a moot point, since I would denounce this being’s policies and its compulsory “love”.

          • Anonymous

            “Yep Christianity and vampires… same thing.” ~ Broc

            Okay, how about zombies and vampires? ‘ Closer?

          • Anonymous

            To be quite honest, boom, I do find this girl’s claim to be a vampire as believable as some of the claims made in the Bible.  For example, I find it as believable as the claim that God divided a large body of water for Moses with untold numbers of Hebrews to cross through and then drowned Pharaoh’s legion of charioteers in the same body of water.  Considering that there is not one shred of evidence in Egypt’s recorded history that such a thing really happened, it seems like a tall tale… just like vampires being real creatures.  

          • Anonymous

            “To be quite honest, boom, I do find this girl’s claim to be a vampire as believable as some of the claims made in the Bible.” ~ Sid

            In other words, not believable at all. Agreed.

            “Considering that there is not one shred of evidence in Egypt’s recorded history that such a thing really happened, it seems like a tall tale… just like vampires being real creatures.” ~Sid

            Yes, folklore, mythology, and legendary thinking.  The glaring difference is, for those who are scared of death, belief in vampires doesn’t do a damned thing to help them overcome this fear. Belief in God, on the other hand?… well, you know the deal.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            “…I do find this girl’s claim to be a vampire as probable as some of the claims made in the Bible…”
             

            You see this is why nobody really has a favorable view of Atheist, you say completely disrespectful things about others beliefs and you see nothing wrong with it.  Seriously, you compare an insane “wanna be vampire” to Christians, and you defend it as if, yes those are equal.
            Why don’t I compare you to Holocaust deniers?  They don’t believe the words of “survivors” or people who were “there”.  It was just a story, propaganda, exaggeration ….because  if you don’t want to see evidence that is there, you can just discredit it in your own mind.

          • Anonymous

            “You see this is why nobody really has a favorable view of Atheist, you say completely disrespectful things about others beliefs and you see nothing wrong with it.”

            You still don’t seem to grasp the point of my post.  The fact that the lunatic girl BELIEVES with every fiber of her being that she is a vampire does not make it so.  In order for boomSLANG or I or you or Young Robert to find her claim to be believable, we would require compelling evidence.  Without that compelling evidence, none of us would believe her claims (and none of us do).  Okay.  boomSLANG and I want compelling EVIDENCE that YHWH exists and the many extraordinary claims of the Bible are true.  Without said evidence, we can not find the Bible’s extraordinary claims to be any more believable than this lunatic girl’s claim to be a vampire.  There is no reason you should feel we are being disrespectful or insulting.  It is a matter of our wanting to have compelling evidence in order to believe any extraordinary claim.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            So in common legal court langauge are we talking “reasonable doubt” or “beyond a shadow of a doubt”? 

          • Anonymous

            We ask for compelling evidence.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            So that is a “NO” to answering the question???

          • Anonymous

            We ask for compelling evidence.  That is a rather simple concept.  If someone provided me with a preponderance of evidence that YHWH exists, I would believe receptive to believing it.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            No its really not a “simple answer” its a vague answer that could have a ever moving goal post.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, it is.  “Doubting” Thomas reportedly asked for compelling evidence.

          • Anonymous

            See bottom of thread.

          • Anonymous

            “You see this is why nobody really has a favorable view of Atheist, you say completely disrespectful things about others beliefs and you see nothing wrong with it.” ~ Broc

            This was in response to Sid, so I have no clue why you hit “reply” on my post instead of Sid’s.

            In any case, about “others beliefs”—-you believe that, upon death, those of your fellow human beings who are non-Christian will be kept alive and tormented in “hell” 24/7, and as far as I know, you believe that they DESERVE it. If you think that I will (or should) respect such a nasty, despicably cruel and inhumane belief, you’ve got another thing coming.

            And to illustrate the gross injustice of said despicable belief, I could end up in “hell” because of my honest inability to believe something that I find UNbelievable, meanwhile, a reformed serial killer gets a life of never ending, unadulterated bliss because he accepted “Jesus” as his “Savior”.

            Make no mistake, such beliefs disgust me. Notwithstanding, I realize that many of the people who are stuck believing this garbage are victims – victims of being handed the family belief-system called “Christianity” – just as I once was.

          • Anonymous

            “In other words, not believable at all. ”

            Of course.  I consider the claims I referenced as both being highly improbable.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Don’t say that to “Twilight” fans…

          • Anonymous

            Ah, so we agree, then, that just because there are MILLIONS of devout vampire enthusiasts, that this doesn’t make vampires plausible, nor does it shift the burden of proving them wrong to you and me. Correct?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            apples and oranges, even in a hypothetical situation. 

          • Anonymous

            You are being obstinate, Broc.  The subject of this thread is “Cross Examination: Faith and Belief”.  We cited two instances of faith… one in vampirism and one in Christianity.  The fact that you claim faith in one and not the other does NOT make the two cases “apples and oranges”.  That girl is possibly facing a life sentence, yet she is sticking with her faith because it seems REAL to her.  Her FAITH appears to be genuine.  The subject here is FAITH.  We are not comparing vampirism vs. Christianity.  We are comparing FAITH in the two.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Just because the girl in question is “facing a life sentence” does not mean she does not have some sort of mental illness.  That simply means that at the time of her crime she could tell right from wrong. As I stated in the comment below comparing a person who has mental issues to a person of sound mind is NOT apples to apples. 

          • Anonymous

            The point is lost on you.  She is one example of millions of people who believe in vampirism.  If you want to dismiss all believers in vampirism as being mentally ill, that is your choice.  However, people today who believe the sun actually did move backwards at Hezekiah’s request appear to be just as delusional to me as people today who believe in drinking blood.  Both sets of people believe in something that appears completely improbable to me.  That is to say that I do not currently believe in vampirism or the Biblical claim that the sun actually moved backwards.  In fact, I listed some 30 Biblical claims on this thread that I find highly improbable.  People who believe in a literal translation of the Bible apparently DO believe in all the claims I listed, and the evidence they provide me is that the Bible said those things happened.  I find that grossly insufficient.

          • Anonymous

            “apples and oranges, even in a hypothetical situation.”~ Broc

            Not if you’d stop ignoring the glaring (and damning) common denominator. And I agree with Sid’s assessment that you are being deliberately obstinate—I don’t believe for second that you are this obtuse(it’s compliment, BTW). In any case, as you well know, the common denominator isn’t WHAT they believe; it’s HOW they believe it. Both believers in “Christ” and believers in vampires total in the MILLIONS, and both believers in “Christ” and believers in vampires harbor their beliefs with conviction, sincerity, and fervor. The former proves that popular vote..i.e..large numbers of people believing something, says nothing at all about the whether the beliefs are true, or not. And the latter effectively shows that believing things with conviction, sincerity, doesn’t preclude the believer from being wrong.

          • Anonymous

            Well stated.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Faith for people are are not of sound mind can not be compared to those who DO have sound mind.  If you want to compare two people of SOUND mind then I would agree its apples to apples. 

          • Anonymous

            “If you want to compare two people of SOUND mind then I would agree its apples to apples.”

            The point is continually lost on you.

            Okay, who’s to say which person is of “sound mind” and who isn’t? One group believes in people who drink blood; one group believes someone turned a river into blood. Who’s of “sound mind”?  One believer thinks a necklace made of garlic protects them from vampires; one believer thinks wearing  a necklace with an miniature execution device on it protects them from an evil spirit. Who’s of “sound mind”?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            So its your position that NO ONE is crazy, or everyone who doesn’t believe what you do is crazy??

          • Anonymous

            Broc,

            Your question is literally too daft to merit a response.  However, you might get one from boom.

          • Anonymous

            “So its your position that NO ONE is crazy, or everyone who doesn’t believe what you do is crazy??” ~ Broc

            If you want to be taken seriously, then I implore you to STOP answering questions with more questions. 

            Here’s what I asked previously……

            “Okay, who’s to say which person is of ‘sound mind’ and who isn’t? One group believes in people who drink blood; one group believes someone turned a river into blood. Who’s of ‘sound mind’?” ~ me

            Okay, of the two beliefs listed ABOVE, why should I not see the latter as just as crazy and ridiculous as the former? Why is a book that talks about some dude turning a river into BLOOD less “cRaZy” than a book that talks about people drinking blood on a full moon?

          • Anonymous

            Unicorns and vampires?

          • Anonymous

            How about talking snakes and vampires? Closer?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            So instead of watching the video and then reflecting on those questions which may have made you think ,you just focus on the things which you can ridicule and/or deny…

          • Anonymous

            Broc,

            I was familiar with the video long before you referenced it.  If you bothered to read the description of the video on the YouTube page you referenced, you will notice that Antony flew is mentioned in the video description.  Young Robert and boom and I discussed Antony Flew on this very website recently.  Perhaps these words by you are indicative of the fact that you have not been paying attention:

            “Again this is right back to where this whole debate started months ago and with ZERO progress made it is a waste of time.”

            Thank you for referencing the video, but I looked at it long ago.  As I said, I consider the arguments made by Stephen Hawking to be more convincing.  I believe you watched Dr. Hawking share those views on The Discovery Channel.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Sid, I didn’t watch the Discovery Channel special, and I can’t find it on the web anywhere. I can only find clips of the show on the Discovery website. Do you know of anywhere on the web I can find it?

            On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM, Disqus <

          • Anonymous

            I imagine The Discovery Channel will air the show again as a re-run.  I would suggest following their program schedule.  Perhaps it will be aired again in the near future.

            This is a link that discusses the episode with Dr. Hawking re. the origins of the universe:

            http://curiosity.discovery.com/topic/space-exploration/did-god-create-universe-episode.htm

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Yes I watched the Discovery Channel Hawking shows, I posted the TV schedule for eveyone to watch.  Which was why I linked the videos that I did, “two star planet” and  “faster than light” links, they both have long reaching affects into science and into the the thoeries around how the universe came into being. 

          • Anonymous

            As a reply to your post above:

            Nobody alive knows who wrote any of the 4 Gospels.

            Also, it sounds like you would be referring to Paul, who was previously Saul, who never knew Jesus during His earthly life.  Pope Benedict XVI confirms this widely held belief that Paul, who was previously Saul, never knew Jesus during his earthly life.  

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Correction: Christians do know who the author is….

          • Anonymous

            “Correction: Christians do know who the author is….”

            There is no uniform consensus among living Bible scholars which human being(s) mechanically scripted each of the 4 Gospels onto papyrus and/or parchment.

            Broc, spare me the lecture that the “Holy Spirit” is the author of scripture.  For that matter, don’t argue with me about scripture.  You have no new argument to present.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Respond to Doubting Thomas:  What is the morale of the story regarding “doubting Thomas”? What did Jesus say to Thomas after appearing to him?

          • Anonymous

            Broc,

            Spare me.  Most modern Bible scholars agree the earliest that the Book of John was recorded would be toward the end of the 1st century B.C.E.  A majority of modern Bible scholars believe the original scribes for the Book of John were not eyewitnesses to anything recorded in the book.  

            You would do well to drop this line of exchange.  You are not even remotely qualified to lecture me re. scripture.    

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

             I believe the moral of the story absolute applies to our discussion here.  YOU not I stated that even Thomas needed proof, proof to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead.  While that it true, it is not the purpose for which the text is written.  The purpose for which the text is written is what Jesus said to Thomas.   
            John 20:26-29
            26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
             28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
             29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

          • Anonymous

            “So instead of watching the video and then reflecting on those questions which may have made you think ,you just focus on the things which you can ridicule and/or deny” ~ Broc

            Good grief, this is tedious.

             Broc, or any Christian who believes that the video in the provided link is “Scientific Proof of God!”. In a word, bullcrap. If this man has proved “God” using the scientific method, his ol’ mug would be plastered on the front of EVERY scientific journal/magazine across the glode; his face would be on EVERY news channel, and his name would be a household name. Hell, he might’ve even earned himself a flippin’ Nobel Prize!

            Your willingness to mistake rhetoric for “proof”,  is truly remarkable. It really is. Sheesh

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            The purpose of the video was not to PROVE God, it was provide a point of view, ask questions, present new ideas….I wrote “watch, think, reflect”.  I did not write “I FOUND PROOF ON YOUTUBE” 

          • Anonymous

            Please see title of video. If the title doesn’t necessarily reflect your views..i.e…the one who posted the link,  then guess what?..it’s then your job to make that clear before hand; it is not my job to try to figure out which parts of the video are supporting Broc’s views, and which parts are not. 

            And BTW, none of ideas in the video are “new ideas”. None; zip; nadda. 

  • Anonymous

    “If someone provided me with a preponderance of evidence that YHWH exists, I would [be] inclined to believe it.” ~ Sid

    And yet, you’d still retain the free will with which to reject what this “YHWH” character were offering/proposing, which, as you know, makes this whole notion that “God” requires “faith” and must remain “hidden”, a fallacious and demonstrably false notion.

    • Anonymous

      There’s a catch to this notion of “free will”, boom.  Christianity holds that were are born sinners and deserving of eternal hellfire.  Unless we repent and accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are warned of eternal damnation as a consequence.  What a concept…

      • Anonymous

        ” Unless we repent and accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are warned of eternal damnation as a consequence. “ ~ Sid

        Which, at a minimum, requires that we actually believe that there EXISTS such an individual. Imagine how much stock a Christian would put into the statement, “Unless we get audited and become clear by accepting L. Ron Hubbard’s proposal as clearly delineated in Dianetics, we will be plagued by Thetans!!!”. I’ll wager that they’ll put ZERO stock into it, and further, that they will likely conclude that the person telling them this is bat-sh*t crazy. And nooooo, this is NOT “apples and oranges”. Millions believe in “Christianity”; millions believe in “Scientology”.  It’s the same you’re broken and so ‘n’ so can fix you type of belief; same lack of evidence for their respective truths.

        • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

          If you wanted to compare Scientology and Christianity that would be apples to apples.  Not a crazy person to a NON-crazy person.

          • Anonymous

            Broc, the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) claims over 1 Billion members worldwide, and they claim  Christ anointed Peter as leader of the earthly Church.   The current leader of the RCC, Pope Benedict XVI, has repeatedly defended the RCC’s solemn position that NO Protestant Church is a real church.  He also believes the infallible Holy Spirit guides the RCC and defends it against ALL doctrinal error.   I am pretty sure you and Young Robert are not Roman Catholic.  Therefore, Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t believe either of you are a members of a real church and that your doctrine is faulty.  

            http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19692094/ns/world_news-europe/t/pope-other-denominations-not-true-churches/

            Tell us who is right?  Pope Benedict XVI or you?  You can’t BOTH be right re. doctrine and church membership.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            I don’t really listen to the pope, given that I am not Catholic, so yes I would say he is wrong. 

          • Anonymous

            Wow!  You claim the leader of the largest Christian denomination with over 1 Billion members is wrong re. Christian doctrine.  Did the Holy Spirit convict you of this? 

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            You mean do I believe that the same Catholic Church who put thousands of women to death because they were “witches”, the same Cathlic Church who allowed rich men to purpose “salavation” during the 1500’s, do I beleive THAT same Catholic church is capable is error….um well yes I do.  Why is that a shocker??

          • Anonymous

            According to your doctrine, all humans are born with the stain of original sin.  All people are capable of making mistakes.  Nobody is perfect.  I am sure if you do a little research you will find abuses among different Protestant sects over the centuries as well.  

            This thread is about FAITH and BELIEF.  The RCC claims 1+ Billion members whose doctrine is different than your own.  The RCC claims to be led by the infallible Holy Spirit.  They have FAITH and BELIEFS that are markedly different than your own.  You apparently have gone so far as to assert that the RCC is not a true Christian Church.  I suppose you KNOW this based upon your personal relationship with Jesus and your being indwelt by the Holy Spirit…  I wish you could comprehend how truly absurd your claims appear to people with open minds and a little knowledge of Christendom.

            Seriously, Broc, be a good sport and run along.  This forum is being diluted by the day.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            If you have beef with the Catholic Church or the doctrine that IT professes then take your “discussion” to someone who is Catholic.  However as I have said, I am not catholic.  Also, just so we are clear about my opinion of the pope. He does not have authority over what is a “real church” and what is not a “real church”. The pope is an imperfect human man just like everyone else. There is nothing mystical or blessed about the pope.   He may be led the infallible Holy Spirit but that doesn’t mean he can follow that lead perfectly.  So if you want to talk about Christianity that is fine however let’s not venture into the world of Catholics since no one on this blog is Catholic. 

            Perhaps you should stop wasting your obviously superior intellect (did I say intellect, I meant ego. stupid me) and just move on yourself. 

          • Anonymous

            The purpose of this thread is not to debate what the RCC believes vs. what Protestant Churches believe.  It is not to debate the merits of vampirism vs. Christianity.  The thread is about FAITH and BELIEF.  There are 1+ Billion members of the RCC church who BELIEVE their church is the one true church.  There are millions of people who BELIEVE in vampirism.  You apparently don’t accept the doctrine of the RCC, and you obviously don’t believe in vampirism, yet you choose to share your beliefs with others as Christians believe the Great Commission directs them to do.  What WE are saying is that what you claim to BELIEVE is no more believable to us than Catholicism or vampirism is to you because you have not provided us any compelling evidence.  I don’t think I could make this any simpler to grasp.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Isn’t this the same pope who covered up child molestation by priest in the Catholic Church?

          • Anonymous

            He was accused of in a civil lawsuit of conspiring to cover up a situation in Texas.  A U.S.  judge dismissed him from the case in 2005.  

            Broc, you would do well in life not to make bold assertions without doing research.  Aside from that, the fact that he was accused of something does not disqualify him from being leader of the largest Christian denomination on Earth.  I am pretty sure his understanding of scripture and Christendom far exceeds your own.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Actually, this investigation is still on going in 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/world/europe/13pope.html 

            “When a sex abuse scandal broke in Boston church in 2002, Pope Benedict — then Cardinal Ratzinger — was among the Vatican officials who made statements that minimized the problem and accused the news media of blowing it out of proportion.
            But as the abuse case files landed on his desk at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, his colleagues said he was deeply disturbed by what he learned. On his first visit to the United States as pope, Benedict met with abuse victims from Boston and said he was “deeply ashamed” by priests who had harmed children.
            But victims’ advocates accuse the pope of doing little to discipline the bishops who permitted abusers to continue serving in ministry. ”


            “I am pretty sure his understanding of scripture and Christendom far exceeds your own.”

            I say on this issue, that doesn’t seem to be the case. 

          • Anonymous

            John Ratzinger has never been tried or convicted of covering up molestation.  The fact that he was accused doesn’t mean he did anything insidious.  


            “I am pretty sure his understanding of scripture and Christendom far exceeds your own.” I say on this issue, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

            You are certifiably clueless.  The breadth and depth of John Ratzinger’s knowledge of Christendom is beyond your comprehension.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            As I have said before, Catholicism and Christianity are not interchangeable. 

          • Anonymous

            Broc,

            “Catholicism and Christianity are not interchangeable.”

            Your lack of knowledge of Christendom is glaring.  You are not even remotely qualified to make such a statement.  The entire level of dialogue on this website has systematically been reduced over the past few days to pablum.

          • Anonymous

            “As I have said before, Catholicism and Christianity are not interchangeable.” ~ Broc

            Okay, so? What?…they’re mutually exclusive, are they? If so, then which people have it right, and please include the objective confirmation by which you presumably know this.

          • Anonymous

            Do you really expect a clear and concise and informed response at this point?  My guess is (at best) you will get more scripture quotes.

            There are 1+ Billion members of the RCC, yet Broc apparently has select knowledge and insight re. scripture that those Catholics somehow missed.  He is a special…

          • Anonymous

            “If you wanted to compare Scientology and Christianity that would be apples to apples. Not a crazy person to a NON-crazy person.” ~ Sid

            First and foremost, I’m talking about beliefs that one might find “crazy”. Can crazy beliefs make some people more crazy than others? Yes. I’d never deny that.

        • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

          Romans 2:12-16

          12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

          • Anonymous

            You quote scripture from Romans.  Many Bible scholars agree Romans was written by Paul.  Paul was a man who Bible scholars widely agree never new Jesus or was an eyewitness to any of the acts of Jesus during His earthly life.

            Looks like you’ll need to do better that this, Broc…

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Nope I do not believe I do, since Jesus appear to Paul and is widely considered one of Jesus greatest disicples with Peter. 

          • Anonymous

            Bible scholars widely agree that Paul never knew Jesus or was a witness to any of His acts during His earthly life.  Paul reportedly believed Jesus appeared to him after Jesus was crucified and supposedly resurrected.

            You really need to do some research to engage in this sort of discussion.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Yes that is the appearance I am talking about…Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Demascus. 

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Perhaps your problem is with my use of the word “disciple”.  If that confused you…sorry

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            “Apostles” would be the correct term

          • Anonymous

            I am familiar with the story.  As I said, most Bible scholars agree that Paul never knew Jesus during His earthly life.  Paul reportedly claimed he was visited by an apparition that he believed was Christ in resurrected form.

            ” If that confused you…sorry”

            What confuses me is why you insist on reducing the quality of this forum. 

          • Anonymous

            What on nature’s green earth is the point of the Roman’s verse, and further, why is it “in reply to boomSLANG”??? Please advise.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            The Romans verse is in response to your post from 20 hours ago.  I know its getting annoying that so many different conversations are bouncing up and down the line…

            Which, at a minimum, requires that we actually believe that there EXISTS such an individual. Imagine how much stock a Christian would put into the statement, “Unless we get audited and become clear by accepting L. Ron Hubbard’s proposal as clearly delineated in Dianetics, we will be plagued by Thetans!!!”. I’ll wager that they’ll put ZERO stock into it, and further, that they will likely conclude that the person telling them this is bat-sh*t crazy. And nooooo, this is NOT “apples and oranges”. Millions believe in “Christianity”; millions believe in “Scientology”.  It’s the same you’re broken and so ‘n’ so can fix you type of belief; same lack of evidence for their respective truths.

          • Anonymous

            “The Romans verse is in response to your post from 20 hours ago.  I know its getting annoying that so many different conversations are bouncing up and down the line…” ~ Broc

            Quoting or partially quoting your interlocutor would be helpful.

            In any case,  I fail to see how the quoted verse refutes my point, which is the following, in excerpt…..

            Which, at a minimum, requires that we actually believe that there EXISTS such an individual.

            What point are you making with the Roman’s verse? It appears that you are simply begging the question. For the verse to be remotely meaningful to me…for example, “righteous in God’s sight”, I’d have to believe said “God” exists. Quoting a verse that says blah, blah, such ‘n’ such is “written” on so ‘n’ so’s “heart”,  is meaningless to me.

          • Anonymous

            boom,

            Is it even worth the keystrokes?  Much more seasoned xian apologists would have fled the exchristian website by now.  This forum has degraded to Romper Room.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Boom, You were discussing the standard to which you would be held accountable by God…
            “Unless we repent and accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are warned of eternal damnation as a consequence.” ~ SidWhich, at a minimum, requires that we actually believe that there EXISTS such an individual.
            To which I responded with Romans 2:12-16 which lays out how Jews and Gentiles will held accountable….so if that is just bible stuff blah blah blah…. I dont konw what else to tell ya

          • Anonymous

            “Boom, You were discussing the standard to which you would be held accountable by God…” ~ Broc
            If that’s what you got out of what I said, then you are a certified horrible reader.

             I most certainly was NOT discussing any such thing.  I was trying to get it through your head what type of evidence would convince ME that the Xian biblegod actually exists(note, this was both before and after I was asked about such evidence)  This, FYI, is *MY* standard of credible, acceptable evidence. I referenced the verse in Romans to illustrate in precise detail what I’d accept, under the pretense that your bible is actually true and that you actually believe it. IOW, if you are bible-believing Christian, then you believe and accept that one day your “God” will have me down on my knees, confessing with my OWN “tongue”,  that he is “Lord”(God). IOW, that “HE” EXISTS!!!!!!!!!

            For the fourth time— THIS IS THE EVIDENCE THAT WOULD CONVINCE ME RIGHT HERE; RIGHT NOW.

            No. more. excuses.

      • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

        There are people who NO MATTER WHAT, “compelling evidence or not” will still deny God.  Let’s for the sake of debate agree that Jesus was God and performed miracles as the Bible states he did.  There were still those who actually saw the events that STILL did not believe.  The same would true today. 

        • Anonymous

          “There are people who NO MATTER WHAT, ‘compelling evidence or not’ will still deny God.” ~ Broc

          You are equivocating with your frequent use of the word “deny”. Let’s clear this up: What?…by “deny”, do you mean, not believe in the existence of  “God”? Do you mean, reject the policies of “God”? Do you mean, refuse to reciprocate the love of “God”? Do you mean, withhold all of the things that “God” asks of us? Please be specific.

          “There were still those who actually saw the events that STILL did not believe.  The same would [be] true today.” ~ Broc

          This is a red herring.  Some kids might not believe that getting educated is best for them. Should we close school? No, of course not. In other words, that some people might not believe that god is “God” is not a good enough reason to conclude that no one would believe, and therefore withhold proof.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Point 1: In that specific comment I was referring the denying the existence of God.  However to deny him in any of the ways you listed are really all the same rebellion away from God’s teaching and sin. 
            Point 2: I am not saying that proof is or should be withheld because some would still not believe. I am saying that some of those (possibly you) who don’t believe in God, would still not believe in God even if your own evidence standards were met.  So your statement that if only you could get “compelling evidence” and then you would believe may not be accurate as Biblical history as shown.  God is not in a position where HE must prove himself to YOU with “compelling evidence”. 

          • Anonymous

            “Point 1: In that specific comment I was referring the denying the existence of God.  However to deny him in any of the ways you listed are really all the same rebellion away from God’s teaching and sin.” ~ Broc

            Your point 1:  Someone might very well deny that the being they see right there in front of them is “God”, however, to assert that they might deny that the being right there in front of them exists, is to fallaciously conflate the two scenarios. 

            Your point 2: you underscore my original point, that is, we still retain the free will to “rebel” against this supposed “God”, even if we are thoroughly, 100% convinced that he exists. IOW – and as I’ve been saying all along – the “God’s Divine Hiddenness” apologetic is smoke and mirrors…aka..a red herring(fallacy) 

            “I am saying that some of those (possibly you) who don’t believe in God, would still not believe in God even if your own evidence standards were met.” ~ Broc

            And I’m saying that this an utterly absurd proposition. As I’ve said over and over and over(IOW, you don’t listen), the bible makes VERY clear that, one day, I WILL believe. Need I remind you of the scripture to which I refer?….hello? Remember this in Romans….

            “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

            ?

            If this is true; if this will happen, then I can receive, right here, right now, this very same type of evidence that *WILL* convince me. This is the very standard of the evidence I’ll accept. ‘Get it? You’re out of excuses.

            “God is not in a position where HE must prove himself to YOU with ‘compelling evidence’.” ~ Broc

            Agreed. And guess what, Broc? I’ve had this very same discussion with Mr. Ewoldt. Please listen up so we can move past this: 

             If your  “God” doesn’t give a rat’s hindquarters if I believe in him or not. FINE, because he doesn’t care if I believe, then neither do I. On the other hand, if your God does care?..then, yes, I will need the evidence that your “God” KNOWS will convince me..i.e….THE VERY SAME EVIDENCE I WILL PRESUMABLY GET according to Romans 14:11. Stick it in your memory bank.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            “…Someone might very well deny that the being they see right there in front of them is “God”, however, to assert that they might deny that the being right there in front of them exists, is to fallaciously conflate the two scenarios…”
            Point 1: Agree you have to specifically identify what we are talking about.  If a being right in front of you was to do something impossible, do something that only God could do. There are those would still deny who and what that being is.  That is the point; that the presence of “compelling evidence” will not be enough satisfy.  Point 2: This kind of mingles with the rest of your comment. The time and place that we are discussing matters because you are right about judgment day and how everyone will one day be before God and yes acknowledge God in his rightful place.  However, I didn’t think we were talking about judgment day because there will no denying God when in the presence of his full glory.  There will be no denying, no rebelling at that point not because our free will is removed but because we will be in complete awe of God when in his presence. 
            Your mindset of who God is and where you stand in relation to God is striking.  Tell me something that would PROVE, to you, that God exists. 

          • Anonymous

            “Point 1: Agree you have to specifically identify what we are talking about.” ~ Broc

            Are you asking if I agree? Or are you telling me that I need to agree?  

            ” If a being right in front of you was to do something impossible, do something that only God could do. There are those would still deny who and what that being is.  That is the point; that the presence of ‘compelling evidence’ will not be enough satisfy” ~ Broc

            We have moved past talking about people in general. I’m now talking about what evidence that >I< would accept, and I'm telling you that your hypothetical is moot; it is not applicable.  It is not applicable, because – and I reiterate – I will accept the exact, SAME evidence that I am allegedly going to receive according to the Roman's verse I referenced. NO. more. excuses. According to the bible, the day will come when I WILL confess with my own tongue that I'm standing in front of this supposed "God". Okay, fine—-then this is the same type of "face-to-face" evidence I'll accept right this minute. But alas, I more than likely will told it won't happen until *after* I'm dead. Oh, how convenient.

          • Anonymous

            “Get the corncobs out of your ears(or the 2 X 10’s out of your eyes). I have been very clear, more clear than you deserve, to help you understand what I’d accept as “proof”. See here***, above. I cannot make it any clearer.”

            Amen!

          • Anonymous
          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            MYSPACE!!! Ahh I forgot I had that, I should go check it out.  I haven’t been to my myspace page in 5 years or so.

            Thx Sid!! This is going to be like jog down memory lane. My work computer has a firewall for social networks but I am going there when I get home……(if i can remember my password, and/or the hints) 

          • Anonymous

            <<>>

             Your page was updated at least to April 2008 when your page references your service in the USAF.   There are also comments on your page that date to ~2 years ago.
             

            What I found interesting is the info. that you shared claiming you graduated from Skaneateles High School in 2001.  I am guessing that would make you approximately 29 years old today.

            You have repeatedly made yourself look incoherent here.  Your arguments are not sound.  Your knowledge of Christendom is lacking.  Your rebuttals are trite.  You resort to ad hominem attacks when you get frustrated.  You have not made a single original argument on this thread.  You even  resorted to calling this discussion on Young Robert’s website as a “waste of time”.   

            Broc, you appear to be an undereducated kid who is in way over his head.  Maybe you would consider doing Young Robert and boom and I a big favor and go play somewhere else.  I would humbly submit that this forum was better without your participation.    
             

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Sid, it appears that when you don’t like the arguments that someone is giving, you resort to attacking their history and/or education. You say that Broc is in over his head; why don’t you stop resorting to attacking the person, and instead attack the arguments that he’s making? That’s the mark of a good thinker.

          • Anonymous

            I am not attacking anyone’s background.  I was merely pointing out Broc’s background in case boom was interested in knowing more about whom he was debating.  Surely you find no fault in that, Young Robert.  If Broc had a Ph.D in Theoretical Physics, would you have found fault in my pointing that out?  I don’t think so.  No need for you to be defensive on Broc’s account. 

            “You say that Broc is in over his head”

            Yes, I said that.  I stand by it.  His lack of knowledge of Christendom is glaring.  His arguments are incoherent.  He even said this forum was a “waste of time”.  I don’t know why you feel you need to defend him.

            BTW, Young Robert, as far as “attacking” one another goes, do these harsh words have a ring of familiarity to you?

            “And, since this is a post about the Turing test, I think that you guys have pretty well proven that you don’t have a good grasp of Christian doctrine, and have thus failed the test (if you were even trying to pass). This would be a point against your earlier assumption, boomSLANG, that atheists know Christian doctrine as good as Christians do.”

            Practice what you preach, oh man of God.

            “That’s the mark of a good thinker.”

            You would know?

          • O!

            …and instead attack the arguments that he’s making? That’s the mark of a good thinker.

            Funny about that………
             
            I’m still waiting for you to “attack my arguments” in the (Is There a Moral Law) thread.

          • Anonymous

            oUcH! 

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Well, not that I have to defend myself to you…random dude on the internet, but here goes
            My MySpace page, if I remember correctly, had a program which was counting down my enlistment time so I assume when I got out it auto updated my page to being a Veteran not in active duty status. As for comments or post, I do remember commenting on MySpace but if they are there, I guess I did. 
            I did graduate from Skaneateles High in 2001 and I am 28 years old. –
            If you find my arguments lacking then don’t respond. I don’t think you are obligated to respond.  Your own knowledge of Christianity seem EXTREMELY limited in the fact you can’t decipher the difference between Catholicism and Christianity, you use the two as if they are interchangeable and they are NOT.  

            As for the “waste of time” comment, I believe I have addressed that already however if you want to take my comments out of context go right ahead. –
            Since we seemed to be making judgments of people based on blog post comments you seemed to be a stuck-in-his-ways old man who refuses to alter anything he believes because you believe yourself to be the smartest guy in the room.  Your comments come off arrogant and condescending. 

            So if you find my comments unconvincing and Roberts Blog post to be a charade then why do you continue to post here??

          • Anonymous

            “Your own knowledge of Christianity seem EXTREMELY limited in the fact you can’t decipher the difference between Catholicism and Christianity, you use the two as if they are interchangeable and they are NOT.”

            Broc, I believe this is the most ridiculous thing you have said on this thread.  It honestly does not merit a response.  However,  I am comfortable in my belief that my knowledge of Christendom far exceeds your own.  I have spent nearly 40 years in study.  35+ years practicing Christianity and the last 5 considering alternative viewpoints after whence I decided I could no longer believe.  

            “Since we seemed to be making judgments of people based on blog post comments you seemed to be a stuck-in-his-ways old man who refuses to alter anything he believes because you believe yourself to be the smartest guy in the room.”

            I stand corrected.  THIS is the most ridiculous thing you have said on this thread.  Broc, I was a devout Christian for longer than you have been alive.  Christianity was central to my daily life.  It was ONLY after I decided to become completely open-minded and consider alternative viewpoints that I decided I could no longer believe.  People who are stuck-in-their-ways do not CHOOSE to walk away from what was central to their daily life.  My transformation was a sea change experience.  You can not comprehend my experience.

            “As for the “waste of time” comment, I believe I have addressed that already however if you want to take my comments out of context go right ahead.”

            Your words speak clearly.  No need to try and spin them to save face.  I personally wish you would kindly go elsewhere and improve this forum.  Young Robert has welcomed boom and I and others to continue participating in this forum.  I plan to honor his request.  I don’t view this forum as a “waste of time”.  Neither does Young Robert. 

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Let’s review my assessment of you:
            1.       Your own knowledge of Christianity seems EXTREMELY limited in the fact you can’t decipher the difference between Catholicism and Christianity, you use the two as if they are interchangeable and they are NOT.
             
            a.       A practice you continue to do.
            b.      You use segments of scripture to “prove” your point, despite if it takes the text out of content. (i.e. your example of “doubting Thomas)
             
            2.       You believe yourself to be the smartest guy in the room. Your comments come off arrogant and condescending.  … – Quotes of you “
             
            a.       …You can not comprehend my experience…”  
            b.      “…You would do well to drop this line of exchange.  You are not qualified to lecture us re. scripture.”
            c.       What confuses me is why you insist on reducing the quality of this forum.
            d.       Seriously, Broc, be a good sport and run along.  This forum is being diluted by the day.
            e.       Robert is an apologist and an evangelist and a dragon slayer, and I believe this series of articles is a charade.

          • Anonymous

            Broc,

            I am confident that my knowledge of Christendom exceeds your own based upon what you have demonstrated.  I am equally confident that boom’s knowledge far exceeds your own.    

            You are not remotely qualified to make such an assertion re. Catholicism.  The notion that YOU have some special insight into the true meaning of scripture that 1+ Billion Roman Catholics do not possess is the very epitome of arrogance and ignorance.

            I do not use scripture to “prove” my point simply because I do not believe “scripture” is an authoritative source.  I have referenced select sections of “scripture” as an example to Christians because they believe it is an authoritative source.  I think this concept is completely lost on you. 

            You characterized me as a “stuck-in-his-ways old man who refuses to alter anything he believes”.  I replied by saying that you can not comprehend my (deconversion) experience because you obviously did not experience what I did.  I stand by what I said.

            a. …You can not comprehend my experience…”

            100% correct.

            b. “…You would do well to drop this line of exchange. You are not qualified to lecture us re. scripture.”

            100% correct.

            c. What confuses me is why you insist on reducing the quality of this forum.

            I am still wondering why you are intent on lowering the quality of this forum.

            d. Seriously, Broc, be a good sport and run along. This forum is being diluted by the day.

            100% correct.  You have lowered the quality of the forum.

            e. Robert is an apologist and an evangelist and a dragon slayer, and I believe this series of articles is a charade.

            boom and I believe this based upon everything we have observed of Young Robert.  Based upon my observation of you, you are an undereducated kid who has lowered the quality of this forum.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

            Wow, I am shocked…SHOCKED, that you feel you are 100% correct…(case and point)

          • Anonymous

            I am amazed that you continue to post messages despite the fact that you have made yourself look ridiculous.  Keep on digging.

          • Anonymous

            “2.  Your comments come off arrogant and condescending.  … – Quotes of you 
             
            a.       …You can not comprehend my experience…”

            Please enlighten me as to what is “arrogant” and/or “condescending” about this.

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

    Sid-
    You want to play both sides of the discussion, its hypocritical.  On the hand you are saying that beliefs do not hold any weight just because many people agree.  While on the another hand, you hold that since I disagree with Billions of Catholics I must be wrong (giving weight to the opinion of the masses).  Millions if not Billions of people believe Biblical event did occur however you state…

    “People who believe in a literal translation of the Bible apparently DO believe in all the claims I listed, and the “evidence” they provide me is that the Bible said those things happened.  I find that grossly insufficient.”

    Even though billions of people do not find these claims to be too outrageous or unbelievable you do, but you think it is “logical” to do so; while in another comment claim that 1 billion Catholics can’t be wrong and that somehow I should fall in line with them… 
    “There are 1+ Billion members of the RCC, yet Broc apparently has select knowledge and insight re. scripture that those Catholics somehow missed.  He is a special…”
    “The RCC claims 1+ Billion members whose doctrine is different than your own.  The RCC claims to be led by the infallible Holy Spirit.  They have BELIEFS that are markedly different than your own.”
    “Broc, the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) claims over 1 Billion members worldwide, and they claim  Christ anointed Peter as leader of the earthly Church. “
    So when it applies to ME, then 1 Billion strong can’t be wrong, however when you yourself have completely rejected those beliefs, it’s just “logical” What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Since you have already stated that I can’t possibly have more knowledge regarding “Christendom” than the pope…
    “You are certifiably clueless.  The breadth and depth of John Ratzinger’s knowledge of Christendom is beyond your comprehension.”
    Why does that same standard not apply to you?  You seem to believe that in relation to YOU 1 billion strong, and the pope, are absolutely wrong, however that is just as it relates to YOU. However 1 billion Catholics must be right when it comes to MY beliefs.  OH THE HYPOCRISY! Do YOU have more knowledge and understand than the pope?  Does your “40 years of study” make you more knowledgeable of “Christendom”?  You are a smart guy, I am sure you will find a way to reframe your own words and claim superiority, but that won’t make any of it true.   
     
    P.S. Happy Friday!

    • Anonymous

      Broc,

      This mishmash of a post is the very reason why I personally believe this forum is better off without your participation.  Your post is a rambling bunch of gobbledygook.  Nonetheless, here goes…

      “You want to play both sides of the discussion, its hypocritical.” – Broc

      No, I do not.

      “On the hand you are saying that beliefs do not hold any weight just because many people agree. ”

      Agreed.  The fact that many people believe something does not make that something true.

      “While on the another hand, you hold that since I disagree with Billions of Catholics I must be wrong (giving weight to the opinion of the masses).”

      100% wrong.  I never ONCE said this or suggested this.  I am certainly not a Catholic apologist, and I do not hold the RCC up as a standard.  My point was that the RCC claims to be the true church and that your church is not a true church.  You disagree.  Therefore BOTH of you can not be correct re. your claims.  Therefore, I wanted YOU to provide compelling evidence that your claims are correct.  I know their claims (I purchased a copy of Catholic Catechism and I have read it).  

      “So when it applies to ME, then 1 Billion strong can’t be wrong, however when you yourself have completely rejected those beliefs, it’s just “logical” What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Since you have already stated that I can’t possibly have more knowledge regarding “Christendom” than the pope…”

      100% False.  I never said the RCC can’t be wrong.  I am an ex-christian.  I OBVIOUSLY don’t share the beliefs of the RCC.  What I clearly said is that you and the ROC can not BOTH be correct re. your claims.  As far as the pope goes, John Ratzinger is 84 years old and he has dedicated his life to religious study.  If you, at the ripe age of 28, honestly think your knowledge of Christendom compares with his, I honestly feel confident in disagreeing with you.    

      “You seem to believe that in relation to YOU 1 billion strong, and the pope, are absolutely wrong, however that is just as it relates to YOU. However 1 billion Catholics must be right when it comes to MY beliefs.”

      This is absolutely ridiculous.  I never said or suggested the RCC church must be right and you must be wrong.  I do not share the beliefs of the RCC or yours.  What I clearly said is that if Christianity were the true religion, EITHER you OR the RCC must be wrong because you disagree with one another re. doctrine.  Therefore, I want to see compelling evidence that your claims are more believable than theirs.  I do not think I could break this down any simpler than that.  It is amazing how boomSLANG and Young Robert grasp this and you do not.  Young Robert and I have had this discussion before, and he understood clearly what my point was.  His church makes claims.  The RCC makes claims.  Those claims have notable differences.  Therefore, both sets of claims can not be all true.  Plain and simple stuff.  No hypocrisy here. 

      “Do YOU have more knowledge and understand than the pope?”

      Absolutely not. 

      “Does your “40 years of study” make you more knowledgeable of “Christendom”? 

      I believe my knowledge of Christendom is more than what you have displayed.

      Broc, do this forum a favor and move on.

      • Anonymous

        “[……]  you hold that since I disagree with Billions of Catholics I must be wrong (giving weight to the opinion of the masses).”

        @ Sid,

        Isn’t it simply mind-boggling how this young Christian gentleman, either cannot, or will not, repeat your argument back to you in the way that you have very clearly delineated it? LOL! Astounding!

        • Anonymous

          boom,

          Yes, it is.  I think his conduct is detracting from the quality of this forum.  He clearly stated that he views the discussion on this thread to be a “waste of time”.  Methinks the self-fulfilling prophecy is being fulfilled, because he is now wasting our time with his puerile tactics.

  • Anonymous

    “boom, I believe we’ve had this conversation before.” ~ R. Ewoldt
    It wouldn’t surprise me; we’ve had many discussions on many subjects before. BTW, it is my observation that most of these discussions end with you bowing out, and/or, leaving no answers to simple, direct (many times even multiple choice) questions, and/or, relocating the discussion in the form of a new article.

    You continue, paraphrasing me….

    “You say, ‘It can’t be impossible if we’re actually here. Must have been dumb luck’ (I’m paraphrasing).”

    No, per usual, you have it wrong. I’m not saying it “Must have been” anything. I’m saying, it is more probable/plausible that we have simply won the “cosmic lotto” than it is that a self-existing, disembodied “mind” created OVER 125 BILLION galaxies, and then only “fine-tuned” one portion of one solar-system for organic life. If the universe is “fine-tuned” for anything at all, it is for blackholes, dark matter, and dark energy. 

    In any case, you continue….

    “I say, ‘It was impossible. The fact that it happened is pretty good evidence that there’s a god’.”

    So, with “God”, all things(or anything) is evidently possible, right? Right.  Therefore, reason says that NOTHING is “impossible”. Your premise cannot be built on both ideas..i.e..that without “God” it would be “impossible”, and yet, with “God”, nothing is “impossible”. If the former – if “God” exists – then human life on ANY of our planets would be “possible”, even Mercury, because NOTHING is “impossible”. You can’t have it both ways.

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      boom, let me lay out my argument for you:

      1. God is essentially omnipotent.
      2. God can do what he wills (definition of essentially omnipotent, as discussed on a previous post).
      3. God can accomplish that which is impossible by any other means.
      4. God can do what would be impossible to happen by chance (i.e. the cosmic lotto).
      5. Therefore, God can create the conditions for life in one area of the universe.
      You say that it’s more probable that we won the cosmic lotto than it was that God created the universe. I say that winning the cosmic lotto is impossible (mathematically), and that it’s more probable that an eternal, omnipotent being created the universe (i.e. God).

      I guess this is our essential disagreement.

      BTW, you accuse me of relocating conversations to new threads, which I admit that I do. Each post is meant to be a dialogue on one topic. For example, this particular post was on the definitions of faith and belief, but there have been MANY rabbit trails from that discussion. In fact, we’re now talking about the creation of the universe (again). The reason I create a new post on a new topic is so that we can talk about a specific topic. If you’re willing to talk ONLY about that one topic, without bringing up
      non-germane topics within a thread, then I’m willing to answer all your
      “simple, direct” questions, and not “relocate” a conversation to a new
      post. If you want to direct the conversation on each post to what you
      want to talk about, then I will continue creating new posts on the
      topics that I’m thinking about, or reading about separately. You are free
      to comment on old posts or new posts, depending on where you’re comfortable.

      • Anonymous

        “boom, let me lay out my argument for you:

        1. God is essentially omnipotent.
        2. God can do what he wills (definition of essentially omnipotent, as discussed on a previous post)[…]”
        ~ R. Ewoldt

        So, “God” – according to your definition/description/lay-out –  can use his omnipotence to do the impossible whenever said “God” wants to do it, AKA..whenever said “God” wills it. It seems that this would be correct. If not, you can tell me how I have it wrong.

        “3. God can accomplish that which is impossible by any other means.” ~ R. Ewoldt

        Right. So, in a set of all “impossible” things, “God” can make *any* member of that set a possibility

        “4. God can do what would be impossible to happen by chance (i.e. the cosmic lotto).”

        Right.

        “5. Therefore, God can create the conditions for life in one area of the universe.”

        Not just “one area”, but ANY area, by your definition/description. All “God” need do it “will” it(want it). Therefore, ***if “God” wanted to create life on a planet 200 miles from the sun? he could. For that matter, if “God” wanted to create life on the SURFACE of the sun, he could. That you might claim that “God” didn’t want to do it that way, is of no practical value to me. The point is, according to your own lay-out, above, “God” could do either of the above.  

        “You say that it’s more probable that we won the cosmic lotto than it was that God created the universe. I say that winning the cosmic lotto is impossible (mathematically), and that it’s more probable that an eternal, omnipotent being created the universe (i.e. God).”

        You are dazzled – and it is implicit that you feel that I should be dazzled, too –  that there can be organic life in a universe in which, withOUT “God”, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for said life to occur on its own. Since we are here, though, I am then expected to conclude that this a “miracle”..i.e..”God” having done the “impossible”. And once more, this argument fails. See here***

        You are like the mud puddle who says, “Wow!…look at how perfectly I fit into this hole in the road! This  can only mean that it must have been made just for me!”

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          Or, perhaps, the mud puddle that says, “Oh my goodness, there’s a road here?? Maybe the road made itself over hundreds of billions of years.”

          • Anonymous

            “Or, perhaps, the mud puddle that says, ‘Oh my goodness, there’s a road here?? Maybe the road made itself over hundreds of billions of years’.” ~ R. Ewoldt

            Paved roads don’t occur in nature. Notwithstanding, a puddle can occur in something obviously man-made, or in a natural pathway. Your counter’ fails. You are grasping at straws.

      • Anonymous

        ” I say that winning the cosmic lotto is impossible (mathematically)…”

        What are your credentials to make such an assertion?  Is it your faith?  Stephen Hawking obviously does not agree with you.  He has credentials.  If Stephen Hawking declared today that God was necessary to create the universe, I am willing to bet that Christian apologists all over the world would declare victory.

        It is remarkable that Christians find it unthinkable that the universe did not require a creator, but you readily accept that YHWH did not require a creator.  I don’t know how you can accept that.  Oh, wait.  I know.  You have faith!

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          Such a short memory you have… there was a credentialed, prominent atheist thinker who concluded that there must have been a creator. This was just a short time ago.

          Also, I don’t have to have credentials in this area; others have done the research for me. For example, Frederick Hoyle, an English astronomer and mathematiciam, calculated that it would be mathematically impossible for the smallest building block of life to have formed by chance ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hoyle#Rejection_of_chemical_evolution).
          Lastly, you say that you don’t understand how Christians can believe that the universe must have had a creator, but the Creator didn’t have to have a creator. I’m actually thinking about writing another post on this subject, but the essence is this… everything that has a beginning must have been created, and since the universe had a beginning, it had a creator. However, since the Creator is eternal, and did not have a beginning, then it is not necessary that it had a cause.

          • Anonymous

            “Such a short memory you have… there was a credentialed, prominent atheist thinker who concluded that there must have been a creator.  This was just a short time ago.”

            I clearly asked YOU what your credentials were to make such an assertion.  

            I do remember our discussion re. Antony Flew, and I remember that we agreed that Antony Flew does not acknowledge YHWH as being the “creator” that you choose to worship.  I comprehend that Christians want to consider Antony Flew to be on YOUR SIDE, but he obviously did not believe in YHWH.  His notion of a creator might just be some cosmic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man for all you know.

            “everything that has a beginning must have been created, and since the universe had a beginning, it had a creator. However, since the Creator is eternal, and did not have a beginning, then it is not necessary that it had a cause.”

            Gee, does William Lane Craig plan to visit this site?  I am pretty sure we have heard his arguments before.  I would suggest you save yourself the keystrokes and don’t bother creating a post for that.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Let me get this straight… your argument is because Antony Flew didn’t believe in my God, therefore, there was no creator of the universe? Are you saying that I cannot use his conclusion (that the universe was created) to bolster my argument that the universe was created?

          • Anonymous

            “Let me get this straight… your argument is because Antony Flew didn’t believe in my God, therefore, there was no creator of the universe?”

            No.  I clearly stated that Antony Flew did not believe in YHWH for the simple reason that I wanted to make that abundantly clear to your audience.  Some people may have wrongly interpreted Flew’s belief in a creator to be a belief in YHWH.  That is precisely why I made the statement that Flew did not believe in YHWH. 

            “Are you saying that I cannot use his conclusion (that the universe was created) to bolster my argument that the universe was created?”

            I don’t particularly care how you choose to frame your argument.  Neither boom or I know if the universe was created or not.  However, if it was created, we certainly find no compelling evidence to believe YHWH created it as you claim to believe.  Neither did Antony Flew.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            I will acknowledge to my audience that Antony Flew did not believe in Yahweh. But his deistic conclusion does bolster my assertion that the universe was created.

          • Anonymous

            Suit yourself.  Stephen Hawking’s conclusion that God was not necessary to create the universe emboldens us.  Flew was a philosopher.  Hawking is a scientist with much more observable scientific data at his disposal today than Flew had in 2004 when he claimed belief in a deity. 

          • Anonymous

            “But his deistic conclusion does bolster my assertion that the universe was created.” ~ R. Ewoldt

            Bolstering one’s assertion with evidence is one thing. Merely agreeing with someone else’s assertion doesn’t bolster the assertion, itself.

          • Anonymous

            “Let me get this straight… your argument is because Antony Flew didn’t believe in my God, therefore, there was no creator of the universe?”

            Again, you are either not very bright and a horrible reader, or you are being DISHONEST. How in tarnation did you get…”your argument is because Antony Flew didn’t believe in my God, therefore, there was no creator of the universe”, out of when Sid readily achkowledges that Mr. Flew believes the universe had a “creator”!?!?!?!!?! Astounding. 

            “Are you saying that I cannot use his conclusion (that the universe was created) to bolster my argument that the universe was created?” 

            NO! He’s saying, in part, that all of your work is still ahead of you, even if your agreeing with Flew somehow bolstered, or even proved, your position(which it doesn’t).

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            I have no doubt that you’ve heard William Lane Craig’s arguments before, but I haven’t heard your counter-arguments, so I think it might be worth my (and my audience’s) time. But I’ll leave that discussion for my post.

          • Anonymous

            There are plenty of YouTube videos that involve Craig in such a debate.  Perhaps you will want to point your audience to them as a reference.  Craig is a skilled debater.  He has argued his points, and some transcripts and/or videos are available from his many public debates.  It is up to you if you want to create a post.  If you do, I plan to read it.

          • Anonymous

            My counter-argument to “Dr. Craig” regarding the universe requiring a “creator” is that his premise amounts to special pleading.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            I guess we’ll get into that in my next post.

          • Anonymous

            “However, since the Creator is eternal [….]” ~ R. Ewoldt

            Existing in or at a period of time when “time” didn’t exist is illogical and contradictory. If the “Creator” is “eternal”, at what point in time did this chap decide to “create”? Nevermind that “deciding”(contemplating) is a temporal activity. 

            Craig and his proponents have a serious quagmire on their hands.

      • Anonymous

        “BTW, you accuse me of relocating conversations to new threads, which I admit that I do. Each post is meant to be a dialogue on one topic. For example, this particular post was on the definitions of faith and belief, but there have been MANY rabbit trails from that discussion. In fact, we’re now talking about the creation of the universe (again). The reason I create a new post on a new topic is so that we can talk about a specific topic. If you’re willing to talk ONLY about that one topic, without bringing up
        non-germane topics within a thread, then I’m willing to answer all your 
        “simple, direct” questions, and not “relocate” a conversation to a new 
        post. If you want to direct the conversation on each post to what you 
        want to talk about, then I will continue creating new posts on the 
        topics that I’m thinking about, or reading about separately. You are free 
        to comment on old posts or new posts, depending on where you’re comfortable.”

        What’s the title of this thread? “Faith and Belief”. You touch on “agnosticism” in your article. Agnosticism deals with knowledge. Therefore, this topic is about “faith”, “belief”, AND knowledge. I’ve asked you..oh, perhaps 4 or 5 times, now,  if you KNOW(see “knowledge”) if “Yahweh” exists, or not. This is on topic, and best as I can tell, you’ve ignored and continue to ignore the question. I shouldn’t need to move my question to the appropriate “category” of this supposed “Cross Examination”. Again, your dishonesty is appalling. If you want me to believe otherwise, then answer the question: Are you an agnostic theist?, or a gnostic theist? Which?

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          boom, if you read the article carefully, I said that faith is the difference between belief and the evidence that you have. You might say that “knowledge” is belief for which there is evidence, and “faith” is belief for which there is no evidence, or insufficient evidence. For instance, you may believe that there is no god, but you don’t necessarily have the evidence for that. You call that Agnostic Atheism. I suppose that you could say that I’m an agnostic theist at this point.

          • Anonymous

            “For instance, you may believe that there is no god[….]” ~ R. Ewoldt

            Yes, I may believe  that…….OR….I may simply lack belief one way, or the other.

            “[…]but you don’t necessarily have the evidence for that.”

            I also “don’t necessarily have the evidence” that invisible fairies don’t live inside hollow logs. But guess what? I don’t *NEED* to proffer evidence that they don’t. Whoever says that invisible fairies live inside hollow logs? THAT is the person whoneeds to proffer evidence.

            “I suppose that you could say that I’m an agnostic theist at this point. You call that Agnostic Atheism.”

            Ah, so, this is an admission that, NO, you don’t KNOW that the biblical “Yahweh” exists, in which case, you harbor a belief held on faith. Thank you for clearing this up.

  • Anonymous

    From Robert Ewoldt’s article:

    “Any statement, if you’re claiming that it is true, is a belief.  Here are other (not Christian) examples of belief:

    – Life does not have objective meaning or purpose (nihilism)

    – No one can truly know if a god really exists (agnosticism)

    – We cannot really assert anything for certain (skepticism)

    – There is no god (atheism)

    – There is no god but Allah, and Muhammed is His messenger (Islam)

    Here is a statement not included in the above list:  There might be a god; there might not be a god.

    I am claiming that said statement is true, and according to the above, this statement then becomes a “belief”. Fine.

     So, I have a belief that there might be a god, or there might not be a god. Until/unless it can be known for certain, I currently hold to the following:

    – There might be a god; there might not be a god(agnosticism)

    – I do not believe there is a ***god(atheism)

    IOW, the former and the latter are not mutually exclusive. 

    ***Since the definition of “god” varies from individual to individual, the definition of the “god” that I am employing in my belief, above, is one of a non-personal, supreme being that is beyond the comprehension of mortal man. Note, this is in bold contrast to the god of the three leading montheistic, Abrahamic religions..i.e..Christianity, Islam, Judaism, religions by which their proponents claim their respective god is a personal, knowable being who harbors particular characteristics and attributes.

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

    Nobel Prize for Physics:  http://news.yahoo.com/studies-universes-expansion-win-physics-nobel-101853906.html 

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc Middleton

    MSNBC’s Morning Joe had a unusual coverstaion for them….

    Video called:  “Science, spiritually face off in a book about life, creation”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/ns/msnbc_tv-morning_joe/#44771109 No drama just found it interesting. 

    • Anonymous

      Interesting, but the “spiritualist” is ultimately unconvincing.

      ‘Gotta love good ol’ Deepak, though. Not even two minutes in, and he’s mocking the Skeptic Society. In other words, what is he doing? Oh, he’s BEING SKEPTICAL of skeptics!? The irony. It stings!

      At approx. 3:25 Chopra continues…. “In the book, [uh] Leonard acknowledges that science cannot say….cannot say, and will not say, that God is an illusion”.  

      Yes? And?  Therefore “God” in not an illusion?..i.e.. red herring.

      “He(Leonard) acknowledged that science cannot say what the meaning of life is[….]” ~ Chopra

      The objective “meaning of life”(if any) is to live; the subjective meaning of life is what we choose to make it(or not).

      RE: “faith” vs “science”, the physicist(Leonard) goes on about the bible…

      “The only time there’s a conflict is when you really, say, you take the stories literally[…]”

      IOW, from a biblical literalist perspective, “faith” and “science” are not compatible. 

      Towards the end, Chopra strawmans his opponent by saying the naturalist thinks he exists outside the universe[paraphrased].

      Um, whAT? No, the naturalist most certainly knows he is part of the natural universe. Good grief, Deepak!